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2022: The mural 'restored' - urgent help needed

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

The photographically 'restored' mural by Tim Haws, which was formerly in the King's Head (double click to see it larger)

Denise, former wife of Tim Haws, a talented local artist - who herself is also an artist - got in touch recently with Cuckfield Connections recently after a posting we did last year about this mural.

Following our email exchange we have 'digitally remastered' the mural to take us back to how it looked the day it was painted in 1983. Now, more than ever, we are anxious to definitively match names to the characters depicted - before the opportunity is lost forever. We have half* identified them now - but we need your help . [* Note: Since this was written we think we have only one left to confirm the identity. Many thanks to Martin Ingebretson, Jill Harwood, Denise and Fin Anslow for getting in touch]

The story behind the mural

The 100 sq ft (9 sq m) painting was done by local artist Tim Haws and celebrates regular customers to the King's Head bar. It took four weeks to prepare and mark up the board and two weeks to paint and was done in situ in the bar. At the time, Tim explained that the job was made more complicated by generous locals plying him with drinks as he did it!

The artwork faithfully replicates a nineteenth century version that hung in the bar which was originally painted in water colours by J & G Temple in 1894 and commissioned for the book ‘Brighton and its Coaches’ by William Blew.

But the figures in the original are replaced by well known characters like the Linleys - landlord and landlady, 'Fluff' the local clockmaker and even the pub cat, Spider. The painting - rescued from the King’s Head in 1998 when it was converted from a coaching inn and hotel to flats and houses - can now be seen in the Queen’s Hall.

Now 40 years on we think we know most of the names - but have we got them right? We now offer a numbered key - can anyone help to confirm or correct the names? Please email us with your answers.

Digital picture restoration

As a challenge I just wondered if I could bring it all back together into one piece. So using the latest photo editing wizardry any evidence of a couple of seams has been removed between the panels, some blemishes eradicated, and most importantly taken the 'looking up' perspective out - returning it to 'normal angle' view. The vibrant colour of a freshly finished painting, lost through fading, and much detail and contrast have been returned thanks to the latest AI software called Radiant Photo.

Spider the cat on the window ledge on left, David 'Dave' Mitchell [1], John 'Doc' Taylor [2], Tom Stride [3], Peter Tolhurst [4], Fin Anslow [5], Martin Lindley (Landlord) [6], Robin* between 6 and 7, Fluff Newnham (clockmaker) [7], Jay Turner [8], Richard 'Dick' Taylor [9], Grahame? 10, Linda Godfrey [11], Michael 'Mudge' Smith [12],Georgina 'Georgie' Lindley (on top of coach the landlady) [13], Figure represents all other King's Head regulars [14], John Smith [15], Tim Haws (the artist)[16], Denise Haws the artist’s wife [17], Benge Chittenden [18].

* Robin from Crawley - but was not known to the artist

The original drawn and painted in water colours by J & G Temple in 1894 from the book ‘Brighton and its Coaches’ by William Blew (Page 150).

This picture was taken in The Queen's Hall in March 2018.

The mural featured on Southern TV when it was completed in 1984. Tim Haws was interviewed.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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