A mural challenging the negative stereotypes associated with travellers has sprung up in Basildon.

The town centre mural, delivered by non-profit art organisation Things Made Public, celebrates the town’s travelling communities and heritage.

Painted by Irish artist Irish artist Aches, the mural depicts two children tending to a horse – long part of traveller culture and history.

The mural was created in partnership with Cray’s Hill Primary School and Aches took inspiration for the design from drawings done by pupils.


Artist Aches works on the project. Photo: Doug Gillen

In a Facebook post, a spokesperson for Things Made Public said: “Specialising in large-scale murals Aches has been part of the graffiti scene since he was 15 years old. Renowned for his beautiful use of colour and incredible technique, Aches was partnered with Crays Hill Primary School, taking inspiration from drawings created by the pupils that go there.”

A decade on from the Dale Farm saga and hundreds of traveller families live on a legal traveller encampment in Cray’ss Hill, close to the site of the historic huge stand-off between travellers, protesters, and police in 2011.

It is believed around 400 travellers live on the permanent traveller site neighbouring the Dale Farm land.


The mural, in all its glory. Photo: Doug Gillen

Artist Aches said: “I worked with Cray’s Hill Primary school to develop the mural. Up to 96 per cent of Cray’s Hill primary school students come from a travelling background.

“Although many travelling communities in the UK no longer rely on horses, they have been a big part of their culture and history.

“This piece was painted to challenge the negative stereotypes associated with the travelling community.

A joint part of the Basildon Creative People and Places and Our Towns projects, the mural was funded by Arts Council England.

Aches added: “The concept appealed to me because it helped shine a light on a minority group who might not have a big voice in the community and can be wrongly stereotyped. This murals starts a more positive conversation. 

"I think The Our Towns street art project can achieve a really positive outcome in the community and the public arena as it creates a more aesthetically pleasing place. To get eight large scale murals, created by eight different street artists in partnership with the community is absolutely great. The differing styles of artwork mean that there is something for everyone”