'Like getting rid of a Banksy' - Pete McKee fans up in arms after famous Sheffield mural obscured by lean-to

Fans of Sheffield artist Pete McKee are up in arms after one of his most famous murals was partially obscured by a new lean-to at an adjacent bar.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 3:32 pm

Helen Wardlaw was ‘absolutely horrified’ to see the structure in front of Frank the Whippet, with only his mournful looking eyes peeping over the top.

Pete McKee drew the picture of Frank tucking into a packet of Hobnobs on the side of Kelham Arcade on Burton Road, Neepsend, in 2016 and it was something of a local landmark.

But The Parrot Club cocktail bar next door has built a rain shelter and placed tables and a palm tree outside.

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Frank the Whippet mural on Burton Road and the new structure (pic: Helen Wardlaw)

Helen said: “Absolutely horrified...an original Pete McKee and Sheffield landmark. How dare they? I'm honestly livid.”

Dee Aisha said: “Maybe it’s a temporary Covid thing so they have a sheltered outdoor space?”

Helen Wardlaw responded: “Maybe. They didn't have to put it right up against the painting. They have put tables up against the wall too. I can't fathom ruining art like that.”

Sharon Simcox said: “No! This is like getting rid of a Banksy - but this is better than a Banksy.”

The mural is on the side of Kelham Arcade on Burton Road, Neepsend. Pic: The Steel City Snapper.

Rachel said: “Do they not see that this adds street appeal to the business? A more sympathetic construction could have incorporated it.”

But Pete McKee responded philosophically.

He said: “I actually drove past this yesterday on my way to the Northern Gen. I must admit I was sad to see Frank covered over by the awning but I guess old Boy is no longer fit for purpose and the new business has to do its thing. A more fitting end to would be to paint him over and give ol’ Frank a dignified end.

“The fragile nature of street art is nothing lasts for ever but it was lovely to see people feel so warmly to his presence and see kids’ artwork of Frank and photos of people and dogs standing next to him. Upwards and onwards.”

Pete McKee drew the picture of Frank tucking into a packet of Hobnobs on the side of Kelham Arcade on Burton Road, Neepsend, in 2016 and it was something of a local landmark. Pic: The Steel City Snapper.

In defence of The Parrot Club, ‘Walshy’ said: “The state of the replies on this. Outrageous that a local business should do whatever they can to try and keep up with ever changing Covid rules and protect themselves from liquidation and save the jobs of there staff!”

The Parrot Club posted a comment stating the canopy was temporary.

‘Hello lovely Sheffielders! In response to recent comments regarding our beer garden infringing upon a most beloved Pete McKee art-piece, we’d like to say that we too are disheartened about it’s covering.

‘As you all know, the hospitality industry, among others, has been exceptionally financially challenged during the COVID pandemic, and that struggle is ongoing for many if not all of us.

‘Like many bars, we have constructed a temporary solution to allow us to operate throughout Covid restrictions and thereafter. The canopy which covers the artwork has been a life-line to our bar and without it we wouldn’t be here, though it was erected out of necessity, we all can’t wait to see it come down too! We hope you’ll be patient with us whilst we are trying to manufacture a more permanent solution, and one where we can all appreciate the art-work together Much love, TPC’.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.