A much-loved ocean-themed mural in Roker is to be given a facelift.

The mural – which resembles a whale – curves along the walls and roof of the Marine Walk Play Area.

Painted in 2014, the popular artwork is now showing signs of wear and tear. So the mural’s creator Andy Morely – who worked with local schoolchildren on the original design – has begun a two-week renovation project.

Andy says that the revamped mural will largely stay faithful to the original, keeping its colourful depictions of pirates and other nautical characters. He may, however, add a few surprising new features.

inside of whale pirates
The inside of the ‘whale’, showing a colourful cast of nautical characters

The restoration of the mural is being funded by Sunderland City Council. The council also commissioned the original artwork, as part of a £10-million scheme to regenerate the seafront.

Andy Morely said, “To date, the Roker mural is still our favourite project and we are excited to be involved with the refurbishment of the beloved mural. We also have some funny new characters to add – not to give much away, but you may see a mermaid added to the mural!”

Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Cllr Rebecca Atkinson, said, “The mural went down a storm when we first commissioned it five years ago. Along with the new play equipment we installed at the time, it really brought the play area back to life.”

“But located as it is right on the edge of the beach, it does bear the brunt of the weather down there and it’s starting to look a bit faded, so now is the right time for a facelift.”

“It’s really popular with families and it’s also somewhere I go with my own son so it will be lovely to see it looking its best again.”

(The article’s main image shows the much-loved whale mural, which has started to show a few signs of wear and tear.)

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