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Town’s White-Only Hall Of Fame Sign Sparks Controversy

by : Jade Dadalica on : 02 Sep 2021 18:54
Town's White Only Hall Of Fame Sign Sparks ControversyDriffield Town Council/Facebook

A recent mural in East Yorkshire has enraged critics after failing to showcase a single ethnic minority person.

Driffield Town Council stated that the controversial mural – recently put up on Middle Road North – was placed to feature well-known local business owners as a tribute to those who worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

The temporary mural entitled ‘Wall of Fame’ was unveiled in front of Middle Road North’s former post office, showcasing several local shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other personalities.

Town council members also said they wanted to make a fence screening the building of a new care home ‘more attractive’ with the artwork but locals, residents and Facebook users have criticised the project, saying it screams ‘welcome to our white town.’

Town's White Only Hall Of Fame Sign Sparks Controversy (Driffield Town Council/Facebook)Town's White Only Hall Of Fame Sign Sparks Controversy (Driffield Town Council/Facebook)Driffield Town Council/Facebook

Matt Rogers, the town’s mayor, said he was hoping the mural would ‘attract more visitors and shoppers.’ In the end, however, his efforts backfired after locals took to social media to express their views about the mural, BBC reports.

One user commented: ‘It just screams welcome to our white town, obviously been a minority is even more reinforced by this which is a shame really.’

Another wrote: ‘So there’s not a single person of colour personality in your town you’d like to recognise?’

Driffield-born Curtis Woodhouse, a professional footballer-turned-boxer, was a popular topic among angry locals: ‘He does so much for the kids in the community, yet he’s not worthy of being on your ‘Wall of Fame’. Was he even asked if he wanted to be apart of it, or doesn’t he fit into your nice little town?’

Curtis Woodhouse (PA Images)Curtis Woodhouse (PA Images)PA Images

However, the mural has attracted some praise, as one user wrote: ‘Love how you have brought together the familiar faces of Driffield businesses and made something like this, think it is really thoughtful and personal to our town.’

Referencing the backlash, The Town Council stated:

The panels depict images of a number of well-known personalities who either own or work in the shops and businesses based entirely in the town centre. Some are members of the Town Centre Steering Group and it was intended as a tribute to the independent businesses who have been ravaged by the pandemic.

The whole idea of the panels was to provide an attractive temporary image whilst the new care home was constructed, to attract more people to this neglected area of town and provide a much needed boost to the businesses in Middle Street North.

‘The people shown run businesses and shops in Middle Street North, Market Place and Middle Street South, also known as the Northern and Station Quarters. The Town Council and the Steering Group are working hard to support local businesses and this mural is an attempt to boost the town not to cause negative publicity,’ it added.

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Topics: News, Controversy, Mural

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BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Driffield mural divides opinion over lack of diversity