Campaigners hoping to save the Margate wall mural opposite the Northern Belle pub from demolition plan to enlist the help of celebrities who have had their photo taken with it.
Libertines singer Pete Doherty, who now, with band mates, owns the Palm Court Hotel in Cliftonville, Bad Manners frontman, and former Cliftonville Fatty Towers hotel owner, Buster Bloodvessel and radio DJ, presenter, author and Margate girl Gemma Cairney are all being contacted to ask them to throw their weight behind the campaign.
Each of them has visited the wall in Mansion Street and had their photo taken with the mural.
Northern Belle landlords Ray and Sharon Summers, Margate author Terry Maynard and pub neighbour Sandra Bellingham are some of the campaigners hoping to stop developers from demolishing the wall as part of plans for between 10 and 11 flats and a shop at the site.
Ray also plans to contact the mysterious street artist Banksy in a bid to gain his support.
The wall was created in Summer 2016 and depicts lifesized figures of landlord Ray and several regular patrons at the Northern Belle, which is Margate’s oldest pub dating back to 1680.
Among those who have been painted are two people who have now passed away, including Margate resident Debbie Murray who was only 53 when she died less than two months ago.
Application to demolish the site
Plans to demolish existing buildings and construct a block of 11 flats at the site were refused permission in August. The application has now been taken to appeal.
A council spokesman said: “The application was refused on 11 August. Subsequently, a valid appeal was lodged with the Inspectorate on 20 November.
“We are still awaiting a start date for the appeal. Once there is a start date for the appeal, residents will be notified.”
However, plans for 10 flats at the site were given the go ahead last year and it is thought the wall could be knocked down as early as next month to make way for a planned bin area.
Campaigner Sandra said: “We really want to save the wall, even if the developer could find a way to include it in their plans.
“The mural means a lot, not just to the pub but to Margate. People come here just to have their picture taken with it and it is a memorial as well.
“We are running the petition and will do everything we can, until there is nothing left, to save it.”
Sharon added: “It’s a real tourist attraction so it’s not just locals who are coming to see it. Pete Doherty has been here a couple of times and he loved it.”
The wall, which features an array of Mods and Skins in the montage, was left unfinished by the original artist but another has now pledged to complete the artwork if it is saved.
The campaigners are also appealing to ward councillor Iris Johnston, council leader Chris Wells and North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale to help save the unique art work.
Sandra said: “It would be a shame to lose, forever, one of Margate’s newest and totally unique tourist attractions.”
The petition has already gathered more than 520 signatures in support of saving the wall. A paper petition will also be available in the Northern Belle and another will be created on the Thanet council e-petition page.