The Southway Murals
Colchester Civic Society in collaboration with Colchester in Bloom began fundraising in 2014 in order to restore the series of concrete murals produced by husband and wife team Henry Collins and Joyce Pallot, which were installed in Colchester’s Southway Subways in 1973 -1974.
A grant from Essex Heritage Trust enabled feasibility work and initial restoration of the Abbeygate Street Mural. The full restoration of all the subway murals was made possible by a £55,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and also a grant from The Hervey Benham Trust.
The terms of the Heritage lottery grant meant the restoration project included working with the areas school children and young film makers from Signals Media, the Colchester based specialists for film education and digital arts. In addition to contracting restoration specialists to carry out the work, the grants also paid for the commissioning of a film documenting the restoration, the installation of interpretation boards and the creation of a website to provide information about Henry and Joyce’s work and also provide public access to the Film.
Husband and wife team, Henry Collins (1910 – 1994) and Joyce Pallot (1912 – 2003) lived and worked in Colchester. They worked as a team. Their first mural in concrete was made in 1969 in Colchester. This was a commission by Stanley Bragg architects for the external wall of the Sainsbury store in Priory Walk .
The couple went on to be commissioned for further work for Sainsbury, also for British Home Stores and many local authorities across the UK and made an important contribution to the post war public art movement. Now over forty years old the series of murals in the Colchester Southway subways are important examples of the artist’s early work.
The Film Concrete Legacy can be viewed on our Publications Page
This is the link for the Henry and Joyce website.