Banksy – ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ – found (well, sort of)

Last night a reader of this blog was kind enough to post in the comments the location of Banksy’s ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ piece. Armed with this information I set off this morning to track it down and see what condition it was in. Quite why I needed to do this is one of the great imponderables of my life along with ‘how did we get here’ and ‘why would anyone support Spurs’? Whatever, this kind of lark is part and parcel of doing this blog.

Sixty miles from London, a hovercraft and an underground tube train ride later I arrived at the site. The more transport aware among you will have deduced from those modes of travel that this piece is on the Isle of Wight (reached by hovercraft and served by old tube trains). Shanklin to be precise, or if you want to have a look around exactly where go here. So far so good but walking around the corner into the car park on the sea front I was greeted with this:

Banksy in Shanklin - Keep Britain Tidy

Banksy painted over in Shanklin. photo:artofthestate

It’s an occupational hazard when trying to photograph graffiti. I can’t help thinking that whichever council covers Shanklin has missed a pretty good opportunity. Probably at just about the same time that a council worker was painting over Banksy’s work someone else in the authority was reviewing Shanklin’s visitor statistics for the year and working out how to encourage more people to come next year. Now the Banksy piece has gone I can only recommend visiting Shanklin for the cafe opposite the station, the fact that the postman I talked to when trying to locate the piece was very knowledgeable about graffiti matters and that the local taxi driver ‘would keep a look out for more Banksy’s for me’. There’s a nice beach with a very clean and tidy car park too.

Big thanks to Tracy for the heads up, despite my moaning above it was a very enjoyable day out.

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6 thoughts on “Banksy – ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ – found (well, sort of)”

  1. Hi JG. Maybe they are but I was on foot and with a population of 130,000 on the Island (that’s a lot of streets to cover!) it was going to take more than a day trip to track them down!

  2. We were walking the dog down there today and noticed that someone has put a gold frame round the area where ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ was. Totally bizarre! We wondered if someone was going to attempt to remove the paint. Couldn’t see any other reason why someone would go to the trouble of fixing a picture frame round a bare wall!

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