Work, Rest, Pray Painting At Sherburn Village Community Centre
Art Durham County Durham

Work, Rest Pray. Painting at Sherburn Village Community Centre

Art In Durham, County Durham

An outstanding painting at Sheburn Village by Jordan Stead AKA Twenty Six Studio. It has become the pride of the village.

Over the last few months of 2023, locals and visitors to Sherburn Village could watch the progress as the artist Jordan Stead went from transforming a wall of the community centre using historical references taken from old photos. The drawings were initially sketched on the wall and then spray painted. The result is magnificent!

Jordan wrote regarding this project:

“It was easy to select the content of the mural.....we had so many options to choose from with the history of the village being so rich. Initially this was quite overwhelming, despite it being an enjoyable period of research. However as soon as we started sketching out some ideas, it became clearer which locations would work. In terms of the result, I'm really happy with the wide spectrum of history it has managed to capture.”

Initially, Jordan said the painting was going to be on the inside of the Community Hall, fortunately, they decided on the outside and it is more impressive. There are many admiring comments and photo opportunities.

Tracey Stead from the Community Centre explained the process that Jordan took She wrote

'It took 5-6 weeks. The weather wasn't good and made the project take longer than expected. It took two weeks to paint the base coat onto the wall because of the rain and when the rain stopped the wind started making spray painting the artwork very difficult.'

The research that has gone into these carefully chosen pieces shows how passionate all those concerned are about the history and culture of Sherburn Village.

Sherburn dates back to 671 where it is mentioned in the Charter of that time. It went by the name Scieburn which could be Saxon to mean bright river.

The area was mainly a farming community until the Industrial Revolution when a rich seam of coal was discovered and in the 1830's the first mine was sunk. The population expanded rapidly along with housing and infrastructure.

In 1844 the railway was built to transport the coal. Then in the early 20th century there was a further period of growth, with the old houses being pulled down and new modern ones erected. By the end of the 1960's coal mining had ceased and the railway was abandoned.

Look at the murals depicting the mining days, the railway and Monty the colliery engine.

Most villages have a church and Jordan has captured the village church admirably. The church of St. Marys probably hasn't changed a bit and this likeness is taken from inside the graveyard. See the recent photograph for comparison. It was built in 1872 and has a Welsh slate roof. The 3 stage tower has a pleasing octagonal belfry and a trefoil-headed bell openings under linked hoodmoulds (dripstones).

Some buildings have since disappeared like Sherburn Hall which would have been a dominant feature of the village. It was approximately opposite Sherburn Farm. It has been described as a Gentleman's House, as it was castellated and had Durham's finest residents like the Pembletons of Hawthorn fame and the Tempests as in the mining magnets. A doctor used it for his surgery on the ground floor and was the last known resident. It became useful during the second world war, but afterwards fell into dilapidation and was demolished in 1952.

Other street scenes and buildings are still recognisable,

The Community centre was once the former Co-operative shop from 1899 and I understand from Tracey Stead at the Community Centre, it was also a drapery where you could have items altered on site.

It was a nice touch that the Village Parish Council added a clock in 2014 to commemorate World War I.

However the Co -op on the wall is actually where the Co-Op is now. I guess now there is not such a big workforce at the new Co-op.

There was a super turnout for the unveiling (October 28th, 2023) and inside the hall the Sherburn community had put on a grand display of old photos of the area and the people. The Durham Miners Gala Banner stood proudly for all to see.

Jordan wrote about the occasion

'I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who came out for the mural unveiling on Saturday. I'm still a little bit lost for words at the incredible response this painting has had from the community. A huge huge thank you from me to everyone who has engaged with me and this project, I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life. Sherburn is my hometown and has always been a place extremely close to my heart, no matter how far I have travelled. To be able to celebrate its deep historical roots and create memories like this within such an outstanding community, has been so so special for me. All I can really say is thank you all so much for your support, it really does mean the world to me.'

Note the artist standing outside the pub!

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Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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