Passers-by had been admiring the Spa Lane mural since it was completed in early May, but 6th June saw its official unveiling with artists and sponsors celebrating its success. The Retford Civic Society community project was managed by Pam Barnsdale, who first approached Thomas Cook and Rubico Ltd, to gain their permission and support to have the wall, which was in desperate need of renovation, rendered and painted. Andy Massey, Chairman of Retford Art Society then kindly agreed to plan the mural and to recruit artists from the Society, who together spent 100 hours drawing and painting the black and white image taken from old photos of the sheep fair in the 1970s. Sheep fairs had been held on Spa Common for over 100 years and finally came to an end in the 1980s.
The mural was funded by the Retford Civic Society and a Nottinghamshire County Council Community Grant from County Councillor Steve Vickers, with the aim of improving the street scene on Spa Lane.
Chairman of Retford Civic Society, Derek Turner, thanked all involved in the project with a special thank you to Andy Massey and the artists for their hard work and a magnificent achievement. He further added that it was, ‘A project that will bring back fond memories for some and remind younger citizens of their heritage’.