AN artistic “masterpiece” which has been hidden from sight for decades has been discovered on the walls of a South Tyneside social club.
Decorators working at the Simonside Social Club, in Winskell Road, South Shields, were astonished to come across the colourful mural, which had been obscured from view under lining paper for almost 60 years.
Research revealed that the person behind the work was the late and much-respected Northumberland watercolour artist and signwriter Arthur Young.
Mr Young, from Amble, died in 1993 and it is believed he was commissioned to create the mural – which depicts mallard ducks, herrings and other birds in flight – to mark the opening of the club in the mid-1950s.
Now, clubmen are determined to preserve the artistic legacy.
Plans are afoot to restore it to its former glory and make it a centrepiece of the bar once again.
Club chairman Bob Gray said: “Over the years, lining paper has covered the back wall of the bar, but this time the decorator went down to the bare wall and found two sections of the mural.
“In my opinion it is an absolute work of art – a masterpiece.
“The artist has obviously put a lot of work into the mural and now we intend to restore it properly.
“We have done a bit of research and it appears Mr Young did a lot of work in and around Newcastle, including the ceiling of the old Mayfair nightclub, as well as signage for the buses.
“It has become a talking point in the club, with members coming into the bar and remarking on how impressive it is.
“It has been hidden for way too long, and we’re all agreed that it needs to be retained. There is no chance of it being covered up again.
“One of the lads even phoned experts at Newcastle University and they have expressed an interest in coming down and taking a look at it.
“Mr Young signed his work. He was obviously proud of it, and rightly so. Now his work can be seen again after decades of being hidden from view.”
Meanwhile, it is believed another mural may be lurking somewhere on the walls of the club, depicting a group of horses.