New Billy Fury mural in West Hampstead blacked out after two days
Second mural of Halfway To Paradise singer vanishes at path named in his honour
24 August, 2018 — By Richard Osley
A NEW mural of Billy Fury marking the path in West Hampstead named after the singer has been blacked out after just two days.
As reported in this week’s New Journal, artists finished the painting on Wednesday evening and yesterday the Halfway To Paradise star’s partner, Lisa Voice, visited the scene to give her endorsement for the artwork.
But today (Thursday) passers-by found the mural had been covered over with black paint. It was still wet when the New Journal visited the scene this morning. It is the second painting of the singer to vanish this year. Camden Council ordered an earlier mural of Fury, who died from a heart attack aged 42 in 1983, to be blacked out after it was repeatedly defaced with scribbles and graffiti tags. It had been largely untouched for four years before a spate of vandalism.
The path, close to West Hampstead station, is named after Fury because he recorded some of his best known hits at the former Decca Records studios in Broadhurst Gardens. The label is currently promoting a new album of Fury’s work and arrangements of his songs by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the title of the record had been included in the painting, raising questions as to how much it was a promotion or an advertising tool compared to the previous mural.
Lisa Voice visits the mural earlier this week
The alley had previously been unnamed making it difficult for police to respond to reports of crime. Former Liberal Democrat councillor John Bryant held a public poll over what the path should be called and ‘Billy Fury Way’ was put on the map.
There has occasionally been division among Fury’s fans as to whether a repeatedly defaced mural is best way to mark his contribution to the music world with many writing online forums about their distress that his face was being scrawled over.
A Town Hall spokesperson said: “The council was approached by a record company, who were looking to reinstate the Billy Fury Way mural. We provided guidance about them getting landowner consent from the wall owner, making sure that the image proposed for the wall wasn’t commercial advertising – such as an album cover, and was also in keeping with the original community-valued mural. “
He added: “We were pleased to see that the final product was in keeping with the original and that it wasn’t an advert. We are however saddened that the mural has been painted over and can confirm that this was not done by the council. We will be speaking with our CCTV team about whether we are able to establish who painted over the mural.”