This piece is a grand memorial to one of London’s greatest mural artists.
A blast from the past!
The guy in this photo is the man who used to teach me art, drama and music at Chats Palace when I was a kid. I think it was in the late 70's or early 80's. I was at 'Chats' when it first opened. I think his name is Alan? I always remember him as being tall and lanky. I remember being in a panto there and one of the songs was about a place called the wonderful palace of nod! I still remember the tune.
I think there was an arts project office set up not far from where the mural is? I think it was on the opposite side of the road, a few hundred yards back going towards hackney. I think Alan had links here too? Whenever I am in Dalston and I see the Mural, I think of my time at 'Chats' and that tune pops in my head.
The musician in the mural tells his story.
I'm the guy with the saxophone who Anne Maslowicz mentioned. I'm Alan May and I used to run the infamous Chat's Arkestra based at Chat's Palace in the 1980s. The
musicians in the mural with me are Arkestra players Steve Murray on trumpet,
George on trombone,Matthew Weir on tenor horn plus the Hackney musical
legend, the late Jah Globe.
We played a tune especially written by Globe for the Peace March
"Celebration Time is Here". Pyramid Arts made a recording of it which
someone, somewhere must have... I'll sing it for you if you like.
To the right of me is my work colleague, Daisy Carradice.
The man to the far left, below the coping is Ernie Greenwood, who ran the
local community Darkroom.
I remember a guy (must have been Ray) taking photos of me playing with the
Arkestra at the Hackney Marsh Fun Festival Parade the same year as the Peace
Carnival. I was amazed to see the drawings going up on the whitened wall and
then the beautiful colours going on. I know I'm biased but I haven't seen a
more beautiful or vibrant mural. I'd like to think that the initial drawings
and photos are being looked after and will one day be exhibited.
The mural was unveiled the week before I moved with my family to Bristol and
represents the part of me left behind. Old friends say a hallo as they
breeze past on the bus and friends of my daughter, who was born the year of
the mural's birth now live in Dalston and visit the mural for a chat.
Do you remember this mural being painted? What does it mean to your community? Do you or one of your neighbours appear in the mural? We want to build an archive of interviews, audio and video of people's memories of this mural. Please get in touch to share your story.