Giant hospital mural is a treasure trove of delights
27 February 2018
Pirates, rescue helicopters, divers and buried treasure are all making paediatric outpatients at Southend University Hospital a more welcoming and exciting place to visit for youngsters.
They all feature in an amazing nautical themed mural. It's a
design of epic proportions that takes over three walls, with the
first wall featuring a pirate scene that would do any budding Jack
Sparrow proud, a more traditional seaside beach theme full to the
brim of play and activity, and thirdly an atmospheric sea rescue at
night, complete with divers, a lighthouse and even a UFO!
It was all brought to life one brushstroke at a time by the
talented Richard Ashton, 63 from Rayleigh, who spent ten weekends
bringing the vision of the paediatric unit to life.
Richard, a grandfather of four, said: "All in all it took about
130 hours to create and is the first mural for children that I've
produced, I wanted to create something visually interesting after
talks with the staff and I'm pleased with the end result, but even
more pleased to hear about the joy it is creating. Thematically,
each frame is about seeking treasure in a different visual way,
whether that be on a pirate ship, on a traditional beach scene or
under the sea."
And to complete the captivating seaside effect consultant doors
have been transformed to resemble beach huts, helping ensuring that
it is a far more inviting place for children to visit.
Alison Davis, Paediatric Outpatients Manager, said:" The end
result is truly amazing; it's been really exciting to see it come
to life each passing weekend. Richard has created something beyond
our wildest dreams and his design is already making a massive
A quiz related to the mural encouraging parents and children to
spot things and count items within the giant art work is already
proving to be a huge hit.
Alison added: "In a way it helps transport them into the
picture. Many of the children and families that attend our
department do so on a regular basis and can be here for a long
time, so we wanted to create some work that grabbed and kept their
"I think the magic in Richard's work is that you spot something
new and different each and every time you look at it. It's great it
is accessible and appeals to children of all ages, from real
youngsters to teens. And because of that they all feel they own a
part of it, the mural is theirs."
No stranger to creating murals at the hospital, Richard
previously produced a mural for the Day Assessment Unit that harked
back to the Southend seafront of yesteryear, once again with the
seaside acting as his artistic muse.