Lancaster band ‘gutted’ after council order removal of painting

The finished mural on the side of The Pub in China Street, Lancaster
The finished mural on the side of The Pub in China Street, Lancaster

A Lancaster band say they are “utterly gutted” that the council is forcing them to remove a painted mural from the wall of a city pub.

Five piece rock band Massive Wagons commissioned the mural to be painted on the side of The Pub, in China Street, earlier this month to help promote their new album which is out next month.

Massive Wagons will play a secret gig in Preston

Massive Wagons will play a secret gig in Preston

The mural has drawn praise from locals and visitors to the city, but Lancaster City Council say the mural is an advertisement, and is therefore illegal without the proper consent.

The council has written to the owners of The Pub asking them to remove it by July 30.

But members of the public have created a petition which has so far received more than 1,200 signatures, urging the council to leave the mural on the wall.

Barry Mills, lead singer in Massive Wagons said: “I am genuinely utterly gutted and majorly disappointed that Lancaster council have taken this approach toward the mural we had painted on the side of one of Lancaster’s music venues The Pub, it was intended to say how much a part of the city we feel, and how thankful we are that we have received so much support from Lancaster’s wonderful citizens.

Ready to start work on the mural in Lancaster

Ready to start work on the mural in Lancaster

“We love the city, it’s an absolute gem of a place...we are proud to say we live here and we would like to chart this album in the top 40, we would be the first Lancaster band to chart an album ever! We feel it would put Lancaster on the map.

“We’ve played here for years now and have recorded numerous music videos here and thought the painting really added a new diverse, bright piece of modern art to a dull old wall that would hopefully be around for years to come for visitors to admire.

“There have been a lot of pictures posted online of it, the reaction seemed to be fantastic, people commenting how great it is Lancaster finally gets something like this to add some colour to the city much like other large UK cities already have. But there you go, at least if the council are focusing their efforts at removing the painting it must mean all the potholes are now repaired and the flood defences are working at 100 per cent, so maybe it’s not all bad.”

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council initially said: “The mural is clearly promoting the band and its album, and is therefore deemed to be an advertisement.

“The display of such an advertisement without the relevant consent is illegal.

“The council has written to the owner/proprietor of The Pub, advising of this and that the advertisement will need to be removed.”

The spokesman then added: “The correct thing for the business to do would have been to contact the council in the first place and ask whether any permissions were required. We would then have been able to guide them through the process. For whatever reason they have chosen not to do this.

“Despite that, we have opened dialogue with the landowners and are advising them of their options.”