Striking Elgar mural watches over shoppers

Malvern Gazette: 1614578502. 18/04/14. Tom Nanni who works at HMV in the high street with the new Elgar mural that has been painted inside the store by the same artists behind the Banksy-like mural that appeared next to a red telephone box in Malvern earlier this year. Pi 1614578502. 18/04/14. Tom Nanni who works at HMV in the high street with the new Elgar mural that has been painted inside the store by the same artists behind the Banksy-like mural that appeared next to a red telephone box in Malvern earlier this year. Pi

SHOPPERS at Worcester's HMV will now browse the shelves under the watchful gaze of Sir Edward Elgar.

The impressive mural of Worcestershire’s favourite son is the first legal commission carried out by Malvern pair Lee Morris and Tom Brown's We Love Art project and is a reference to Elgar's opening of the chain's flagship Oxford Street store in 1921.

Mr Morris, 34, said the work, entitled Beats by Elgar, took 30 hours to complete from the point of designing and cutting the stencils to putting it onto the wall of the High Street store.

However, he added it was "less edgy" than when they caused a stir with their our images of the classical composer on the Wells Road bus shelter beneath the Rosebank Gardens in the Centre of Great Malvern

Mr Morris said: "There was a little more pressure to get it right as we were not anonymous this time round. But it was very enjoyable.

"As we had not previously produced such a large stencil before it was a new experience for both of us but the end result we were both really pleased with."

Elgar was seen as one of the company’s star performers and he enjoyed a long association with the music store chain after he first recorded in the HMV studios back in 1914.

He played an important role in the history of music recording and advances in technology with the business sending him players for his approval when a significant model had been created.

The composer was also at the 1931 opening of the Gramophone Company’s studios in London - the infamous Abbey Road Studios - conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Morris and Mr Brown were caught red handed by the police in the early hours of Sunday, March 9 when carrying out their 'Banksy' style work and an auction of the original canvases and the stencil raised £2,880 to fund community arts activities in Malvern.

HMV fell into administration on January 15 last year but the city centre store seems to have battled back from the point of no return by using the threat of closure to improve their offering.

The retail chain was saved in April by restructuring firm Hilco, who bought 141 stores and secured about 2,500 jobs.

The Worcester branch has been at its present location since 1996 after moving from a different part of the High Street - it was opened by Page 3 girl and pop star Samantha Fox.

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