Midland Bank Murals (Middlesbrough, Andrew Crummy, 1988)

Status: Destroyed

The murals in composite form (courtesy of Richard Barnett).

In 1988, Edinburgh artist Andrew Crummy was commissioned to create murals in several towns and cities around the UK for Midland Bank. He’d previously done illustrations for the NME, which were the reason he was chosen for the project.

One of Crummy’s earlier NME illustrations (December 1986, courtesy of @nothingelseon).

After a successful initial piece (on Oxford Street in London), Crummy was asked to complete 10 more artworks including ones for the damaged Middlesbrough branch of Midland (next to the Town Hall).

The bank – standing opposite the town hall – had been gutted by fire in January 1987, and the murals aimed to beautify the building during its lengthy, £1.6 million rebuild.

Courtesy of Richard Barnett

The murals were custom made for the town, drawing on its industrial heritage, landmarks and history. Crummy worked with local artists Richard Barnett and Janette Hynes to complete the work, which was painted at the old Post Office in South Bank. Most of the background information for the work was collected by Richard’s father Jim Barnett, who was an keen local historian, while his mother Joyce did the cooking for the artists as they worked.

Courtesy of Richard Barnett.
Kevin (security guard), Jim and Joyce Barnett, and Andrew Crummy during the work’s completion (courtesy of Richard Barnett).

The 60ft murals hung over the former Midland Bank building during its renovation.

After the murals were taken down, they were sent to a local incinerator. Joyce Barnett was able to recover them just before they met a fiery end, and they were stored on a farm just outside Saltburn. Unfortunately this was just a stay of execution, and they have since been lost to time and the elements.

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