2228. Byron Street

This remarkable and rather large piece adjacent to the M32 roundabout is one of Seven Saints of St Pauls, a project conceived by Bristol artist Michele Curtis to celebrate key people who shaped Bristol’s black community. This mural features Roy Hackett, a Jamaican, who arrived in Britain in 1952 and became co-founder of the Commonwealth Co-ordinated Committee (CCC) which was started 1962.

Michele Curtis and the Paintsmiths, Byron Street, Bristol, May 2019
Michele Curtis and the Paintsmiths, Byron Street, Bristol, May 2019

His story of employment in Liverpool, Wolverhampton, London and Bristol is fascinating. He went on to become one of the founders of the famous St Paul’s Festival and took part in the bus boycott in 1963 which protested against the bus company’s refusal to recruit black drivers or crews. This mural recognises Roy Hacketts part in this boycott. A wonderful history of Roy Hackett can be found in this Bristol Archive record.

Michele Curtis and the Paintsmiths, Byron Street, Bristol, May 2019
Michele Curtis and the Paintsmiths, Byron Street, Bristol, May 2019

The Paintsmiths are a group of artists who work on commissions, paint at events and support workshops, and include Felix Braun and Sled One. This piece, whichever way you look at is is utterly awesome and perfectly reflercts the amazing St Pauls community.