Town's drab 1960s architecture given a makeoverBy Laura Herbert
October 08, 2012
Tired and drab 1960s’ architecture was given a makeover at the weekend as artists used their creative skills to brighten up part of the town centre.
Wokingham Town Council commissioned a number of artists to help spruce up a section of Peach Street following this summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
During the festivities, the 10 square pillars in Peach Street were temporarily decorated to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign as the town centre was transformed into one huge street party.
Nine out of the 10 pillars were painted on Sunday by artists including Carol Newman, from Wokingham, and Angela Bellus, from Woodley.
The town council also commissioned other artists from Farnborough, Henley and Hampshire.
Artist Terri Jones, from Twyford, aimed to continue the theme of the Diamond Jubilee in her work.
She said: “I think this is a great idea. The pillars are really ugly at the moment. They were decorated for the jubilee and it brightened them up considerably. Having something to promote them and look good as well is a good idea.”
Ms Jones added: “I painted my pillar to look as though there are plants climbing up it, following on from the Diamond Jubilee with red, white and blue flowers.
“It is an interesting project and comes hot on the heels of Wokingham Arts Trail and we had lots of visitors to that, which was great.
“It’s clear people in Wokingham are interested in art and being able to use our skills to brighten up the town is great.”
Councillor Gwynneth Hewetson, chairwoman of the arts and culture committee, said: “The regeneration in that area will happen in about three years and the pillars will come down.
“We were asked to continue the things that were really successful at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and covering the pillars and making them look good is one of the comments we had, so we thought we would take the opportunity.”
She continued: “One day we would love to have one of those outdoor animal trails but for now we are able to do this.
“It is a quick win as everybody is anxious for something to be done with the regeneration and doing this will look good and as though something is going to happen.”
Last month plans to refurbish Peach Place were submitted by Wokingham Borough Council and Wilson Bowden developments.
The proposals to re-clad the buildings are due to be considered by the council’s planning committee later this year.