Eye-catching urban art has been unveiled in Cadishead to commemorate a local butcher who embodied the spirt of the community.
The Hamilton Davies Trust artwork tells the story of Bob Boardman, an inspiring local butcher who knew each of his customers by name and counted most as his friend.
His niece Eve Bell was stunned when she saw the reaction following her uncle’s death from a heart attack in August 2015, and was incredibly moved by the support for him.
“We were shocked and amazed” she told MM
“We knew he was loved in the community but we didn’t know how much.
“There were people all the way up Liverpool Road for his funeral, and it was just gobsmacking really, it showed how much he meant to the community.
“When Hamilton Davies Trust got in touch with me to ask if they could do a tribute I was just blown away that we would have something visual to remember him by.
“He was such a kind-hearted man, it was only when he died we realised how much he ran his shop for the community rather than for money.
“If an old lady came in and didn’t have much money he gave her meat for free, and he gave turkeys away at Christmas to young families who couldn’t afford it.
“He’s such a loss to the community, everyone tells us how much they still miss him.”
‘Bob the Butcher’ is the third major artwork installation in Irlam and Cadishead and was launched at the Hamilton Davies Trust Art Centre.
The artwork, produced by local artist Rachelle Cleary on the corner of Liverpool Road and Fir Street in Cadishead, is near the shop Bob once ran.
It depicts him at work as well as pursuing his favourite hobbies of fishing and having a flutter on the horses.
He is also wearing a Manchester United cap, illustrating his lifelong love affair with the Red Devils.
Eve believes that her late uncle would have been very proud of being commemorated in such a way, although would have maintained his characteristic humour and light-heartedness.
She said: “He’d be going ‘bloody hell’ – those were his famous words!
“But he’d be laughing, he’d be dead chuffed, he did like to have a bit of attention.
“He’d try to brush it off, but I know deep down he’d be so proud.”
‘Bob the Butcher’ is part of Hamilton Davies Trust’s Art programme, which is creating urban art to enrich and enliven Irlam and Cadishead.
As well as making the urban environment more attractive, the artwork reflects compelling narratives of individuals and events behind the community.
Hamilton Davies Trust Marketing manager Dawn Kehoe believes artwork such as this can play a crucial role in uniting the community and renovating areas.
“HDT is embedded in the community and engages a lot with local people and groups,” she said.
“Bob the Butcher is obviously very personal to anyone who lives in the Cadishead community.
“There’s quite a few art works in the pipeline that we can’t share details of at the moment, as we like to surprise people. But there’s so much more to come!
“We’re really passionate about art and its impact on regeneration and the community, it can improve sites and develop areas of interest.”