Swimming group unveils sea-themed mural to hide graffiti

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A large mural has been unveiled by a swimming group to hide “awful” graffiti at a beauty spot on the Isle of Man.

The Manx Bluetits took on the project after seeing a photograph of their swimmers at Port Jack with obscenities visible in the background.

The group lobbied Onchan Commissioners to cover it up and then asked for permission to create the artwork.

Regular swimmer Janet Gilmour said she was “delighted” with the transformation of the area.

Manx Blutits swimmers in sea with graffiti in the background

Ms Gilmour contacted the local authority to complain about the look of the area in April 2022 and again in April 2023, leading the local authority to paint over the graffiti.

However, while having a dip several members of the swimming group agreed they would like to see a dedicated mural on the wall as an attraction in the area.

Swimmers painting the mural at Port Jack

After being granted permission to paint the mural and to use the wider Bluetits Chill Swimmers organisation’s logo, a small group of the swimmers spent four days to create the artwork.

The mural, which features swimmers accompanied by a seal bobbing in the waves, had already “created a lot of interest” in Manx Bluetit sessions, Ms Gilmour said.

The Manx Bluetits in the sea at Port Jack

Sian Richardson, who is founder of the Bluetits Chill Swimmers which promote outdoor swimming, joined the Manx group on Monday for the unveiling of the mural.

She said she was “honoured and absolutely overjoyed” to stand next to the mural, which is the first in the world to be created on behalf of the organisation.

Ms Richardson said she “burst out crying” when she first saw the artwork as “it means so much to me that the Bluetits means so much to other people”.

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