A building in the town centre has been transformed into a tribute to the town’s industrial past by two graffiti artists.

After several months of hard work, a 50ft by 40ft mural was revealed this weekend on the side of a building on Saville Street.

Manchester-based artist Tony Brady, who paints under the name Kelzo, completed the mural along with Evan Barlow, known as Entise.

The two graffiti artists were commissioned by the Mandale Group, who own the building, in March this year.

The pair battled various coronavirus limitations and worked on the mural over the past three months.

Details are crammed into every inch of the wall; from Manchester bees representing the two artists, to the symbolic three elephants incorporated at the top.

Tony said: “This is a gift to the people of Bolton. I’ve left something for people to enjoy which inspires them to get excited about the town.

“Murals encourage people to interact with the town’s history. I did a lot of research before coming up with the design.

“This mural depicts the history of the area; the man depicted is Joshua Barber, who owned the mill which was originally next to this building.

“You can see the peaks of the mill’s roof forming the shape at the top of the mural.

“We included the spinning mule designed by Samuel Crompton and the town hall.

“At the bottom the flowers and watch parts represent the passage of time.

“We were also greatly influenced by the diversity of Bolton; a mosque features at the top of the mural, and I even painted a building from Bucharest because there were some Romanians working on the building at the same time as us.

“It’s really important for me that people can see their history within the mural.

“The birds pulling the cotton threads help to give it movement too; every aspect is thought through.”

The Bolton News: The mural on Saville Street features details such as the town hall and Samuel Cromtpon's spinning muleThe mural on Saville Street features details such as the town hall and Samuel Cromtpon's spinning mule

The mural is a world away from ‘underground’ graffiti art; eight tiers of scaffolding had to be set up for the work to be completed to a high standard.

Tony said: “There were challenges; obviously we couldn’t work solidly due to the coronavirus so we did about four weeks’ work over a period of three months.

“I would work at the bottom of the wall, Evan would brave the heights and paint the top.

“It’s tricky working on something on this scale,you constantly have to jump down and look at the bigger picture to make sure everything is in proportion.

“I’ve been a street artist for 36 years and I’ve worked around the world. I’m really interested in history as well as the street art.

“People have been in touch and have said that I’ve ruined the side of the building, and I can see where they are coming from, but to me the beauty of the mural outweighs this.

“A mural can be appreciated by different generations and teaches people about the town’s history.”

The Bolton News: Tony Brady (bottom) and Evan Barlow (top) with their finished muralTony Brady (bottom) and Evan Barlow (top) with their finished mural

Although Tony calls Manchester home, he does have family ties to the town and the mural allows him to explore his own family history.

He said: “My family came over from Ireland in the 60s and the first place my grandma lived was Bolton, my mum was born here too.

“We then moved to Manchester but it’s been nice for me to have the opportunity to paint something to do with Bolton’s History.

“The mural is for the whole community, hopefully it makes everyone feel proud.”

To see more of Tony Brady's work visit his Facebook page.