Vandals ruin another of Sheffield city centre murals

Mindless vandals have scrawled graffiti on another of Sheffield city centre’s most prominent murals.

By Sam Cooper
Tuesday, 19 February, 2019, 13:07

Graffiti has been sprayed on the huge mural of a steelworker, which is on the gable end of a building on Castle Street, near Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

It comes just weeks after paint was thrown onto Sheffield artist Pete McKee’s mural on the side of The Art House, next to St Matthew’s Church, Carver Street.

Graffiti on the Steelworker brick mural, Castle Street. Pictures: Sam Cooper / The Star.

And last March, the 42-foot portrait of stainless steel pioneer Harry Brearley, on the wall of The Howard pub near Sheffield station, was splattered with red and white paint, making it appear the great man had a particularly violent nosebleed.

The word 'Corbyn', written in giant letters, was more recently added to the artwork, which is seen by thousands of commuters each day.

Graffiti on the Steelworker brick mural, Castle Street, Sheffield. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star.

Now, vandals have targeted the brick mural of artist Paul Waplington, which is made up of 30,000 bricks of 18 different types and five types of mortar.

Heritage campaigner Valerie Bayliss said: “I can’t imagine why anyone would actually do it – it’s pure vandalism.

“The artwork is a piece of our heritage and I think we should be conserving our heritage.

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“I wonder if this was the same person or people who vandalised the Harry Brearley mural.”

Graffiti on the Steelworker brick mural, Castle Street, Sheffield. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star.

The graffiti says ‘f*** Sheffield’s mining community’ and Ms Bayliss said it was ‘widely misunderstood’ that the Castle Street mural was of a miner, rather than a steelworker.

The mural was created in 1986 and was constructed by adding an extra layer of bricks to the 19th century building.

The worker wears a traditional silk muffler, used at times in steelworks to cover the mouth and nose, a hard hat and a typical flip down eye shield used to protect the eyes whilst observing the molten steel in either the furnace or Bessemer converter.

It is not known whether the vandalism of the murals is linked.

The Star has contacted Sheffield Council for a comment and is awaiting a response.