Portland shop given artistic makeover

Rockies

Rockies

First published in News by

A BOARDED-UP shop on Portland has been given a new lease of life after an artistic makeover.

A shop mural now exists on the site formally occupied by Rockies Climbing Shack in Fortuneswell.

The design includes a number of hidden treats and messages, including tributes to Mr Benn and the Two Ronnies.

Artist Peter Sheridan, of Dorchester, designed and painted the mural along with young people at the Islanders Club.

Mr Sheridan said: “It was to entertain people, really. It was just putting as many objects in the window as we could put so you could walk past and every time there would be a fresh thing to see.”

He added: “This could be a good way of doing something with the shops to remind us what the high street used to be like.”

The site owner gave Mr Sheridan permission to paint the mural as long as it didn’t interfere with access to the building.

Name suggestions are now being sought for the shop.

Andy Matthews, chairman of the Portland Community Partnership, said he hoped the mural would stimulate people’s imagination.

He said: “If you look at the top it’s still got the old Rockies’ name on it so it would be nice to have something on it as well.

The community project was made possible by Groundwork South West, and Dulux which provided the paint.

It was originally a Revive Portland project, before the Portland Community Part-nership took it over.

Revive Portland was an Olympic-inspired community project aimed at making positive changes to the area.

Mr Matthews said: “Originally, it was a Revive project to try and brighten up Fortuneswell a bit more.

“Rockies was a prime target. The PCP picked it up when Revive ceased.”

Jo Jackson, owner of the Jackson Gallery, said local reaction had been positive.

She said: “It is thrilling for us locally and old Revive members, as we thought the project had disappeared.

“Pete has just been a complete saint. It just looks amazing.”

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