Co-Op Mosaic

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Co-Op Mosaic
The CO-OP Mosaic - - 931102.jpg
The mural in 2008
ArtistAlan Boyson
Year1963 (1963)
SubjectFishing trawlers
DesignationListed building
LocationKingston upon Hull
Coordinates53°44′42″N 0°20′24″W / 53.744968°N 0.339885°W / 53.744968; -0.339885Coordinates: 53°44′42″N 0°20′24″W / 53.744968°N 0.339885°W / 53.744968; -0.339885

The Co-Op Mosaic is a mural in Kingston upon Hull, England, by the artist Alan Boyson.[1] Commissioned by the Co-operative Society ("Co-Op"), for the exterior of the side of their store at 32-38 Jameson Street, it was erected in 1963.[1] Depicting three stylised trawlers, it commemorates Hull's fishing fleet.[1]

The mural is made from 4,224 panels, each 1 foot (30 cm) square and made in turn from 225 cubes of Italian glass - over one million in all.[1][2] The panels are fixed to a curved, 66 by 64 feet (20 by 20 m), concrete wall.[1]

The mural was built to Boyson's design, by Richards Tiles Ltd (subsequently part of Johnsons Tiles Ltd).[3]

Included in the mural is the Latin text res per industriam prosperae ("the success of industry").[1] It also includes the letters "H U L L" in the ships' masts.[citation needed]

After the Co-Op vacated the building, it was for a time a branch of BHS.[1]

In May 2007 the mural was locally listed by Hull City Council, who described it was a "superb example of modern public art".[4] The council subsequently pledged to retain the mural when the site is developed.[5] In November 2016, a proposal by Hull Civic Society to give the mural statutory protection at a national level was rejected.[5] The society announced its intention to appeal the decision.[5] The mural was placed on the National Heritage List for England on 21 November 2019.[6]

Fish mural[edit]

An additional mural by Boyson, inside the store on the fourth floor, was rediscovered during refurbishment in 2011.[2] Depicting a shoal of fish, it is over 22 feet (6.7 m) long and is made from ceramic tiles, marble and stone.[2] Located outside the former Skyline Ballroom (later Romeo and Juliet's, a nightclub), it had been hidden behind a false wall.[2] The building's then owners, Manor Property Group, announced plans to feature it in their designs for the building's decor.[2][3] It was made as part of the same commission as the exterior mural.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Alan Boyson, Three Ships, Italian glass mosaic, 1963". C20 Society Murals Campaign. 20th Century Society. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Artist's work uncovered during refurbishment". Hull Daily Mail. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Manor Point Development Will Help Preserve Rare Mosaic". Manor Property Group. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Local buildings list" (PDF). Hull City Council. Retrieved 7 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "What will happen to Hull's BHS mural now?". Hull Daily Mail. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Three Ships Mural (1468073)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

External links[edit]