Reprinted from Newsletter 145, dated 2016 July

Bill Knight’s mural wins a vague stay of execution Jim Nagel

Bill Knight practising with a big brush in case the council forces him to paint over the colourful mural. JN

Mendip council has agreed — for the time being — not to proceed with enforcement action against the psychedelic mural adorning the end wall of Bill Knight’s listed building at 9 Northload Street.

  A petition signed by 1,500 Glastonians who like the mural, saying tourists also like it, was presented to the full meeting of all 47 councillors on July 11.

  One point made at the meeting was that it could be “tolerated”, just as the travellers’ camp at the Morland site, though not exactly legal, is tolerated. Another was that enforcement is discretionary, not mandatory.

  The council agreed not to enforce but rather to refer the decision to the planning board and consult with interested persons first.

History: Bill commissioned the mural in 2015 in order to deter ad-hoc grafitti on his otherwise plain rendered wall. John Mason and his MOA UK crew — known as Sym, Sikoh (who has a shop in Church Lane), DMK and Luvm — did the work in eight days at the start of August last year. They paint murals at music festivals all over the country.

  The Knight commission asked for a flavour of Glastonbury and particularly specified the words on the scroll in the picture, Sikoh said. [Oops: the “Welcome to Glastonbury” sign hides the scroll in our photo, so you will have to go read the words for yourself. —Ed.]

  Bill’s blunder was that he did not first get planning permission for this change to a listed building in a Conservation Area. A member of the public complained to Mendip. In September Bill applied for retrospective consent. In December Mendip refused it. In January Bill appealed to the Planning Inspectorate; the appeal was dismissed on June 1.

This 1969 photo is from Jan Morland’s online diary, “Rise and fall of a small business”.

  Flower power sprouted in 1969 on the walls of the Pat Li Shun art shop at the top of the High Street. It horrified the borough council — and made an indelible first impression on any visitor arriving on a bus as it turned the corner.

  Pat Leyshon (mother of Liz Leyshon of Strode Theatre) is finishing her handiwork in this photo. Her husband Alban had done his homework: they could not be forced to remove this street art, because it contained no wording.

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