As the current mosaic mural occupies the same spot, it is likely that the earlier mural was looking tired and someone must have suggested creating something which would last longer and which would bring back the colour to the entrance of the centre.
So in 1999, Jim Anderson of Kenya Mosaics was called in to work with the local kids who had come from the youth centre, South Camden Community School, Somers Town Junior Project and the Plot. Assisted by Sally Kendall, a design was created to fit the front of the building which has a raised staircase. The mosaic mural wraps around the base of the staircase and there is a separate decorated panel on the wall next to the doorway.
As you approach the building from Charlton Street, you can see the side of the mosaic which has a stylised sun and sea with the words Somers Town Youth Club. The main part of the mosaic mural at the bottom is a collage of faces, patterns and animals. There is a giant butterfly, birds, flowers, faces, a frog and an asteroid all carefully linked together in colourful patterns. Then on the back wall, there is a girl riding her bike with a couple of dogs running beside her – they seem to be after a young man waving a bone. It’s not easy to say if this mural has any deeper meaning to it or how much it came from the imagination of the local children but as a decorative piece of art, it has a nice composition, is colourful and adds a touch of difference to a grey street in Somers Town.
This is a lovely piece worked on by locals and probably being slowly destroyed by the locals as they pick away the mosaic pieces. Another piece by the same artist can be found near Euston on Everton Buildings. With careful restoration, it quite possible that both murals will have a long life span.