TWENTY iconic murals created by Colchester artists will be restored as part of a £30,000 project.

Joyce Pallot’s and Henry Collins’s concrete pieces are dotted across the town’s pedestrian subways, cemented in brick walls.

For the past two years, Pam Schomberg, chairman of Colchester in Bloom, alongside Jo Edwards, of Colchester Civic Society, and arts consultant Kath Wood, have been raising money and awareness to get the murals restored.

A recent £5,000 grant from Essex Heritage Trust and a £375 donation from Colchester councillor Darius Laws (Con) has kickstarted phase one, which began at the Abbeygate Street and St John’s Green underpass.

Ms Schomberg said: “All the murals need cleaning and repairing, one of them is nearly falling off.

“We plan to carry out some gilding and put mosaic at the back. They’re going to look quite different, I’m very excited.

“It’s been impossible to find out what they looked like when they were first done because I know they did have colour, but without knowing how they looked originally we can’t do any colour restoration.

“They’re an endangered species all over the country, people don’t appreciate them or their worth.”

Husband and wife Mrs Pallot and Mr Collins, who were both educated in Essex, constructed the majority of their public murals in the Sixties and Seventies, after helping to establish Colchester Art Society.

They were commissioned by Colchester Council after a number of high profile works they had been asked to do across the UK for stores such as Sainsbury’s and BHS - but their work took them around the world.

Ms Wood, a former director at Firstsite, had previously rescued three of the works from a skip.

Ms Schomberg said: “They were taken off the wall at BHS when the store was re-done and she found them. Now they’re at 15 Queen Street, in the alley leading towards Firstsite.

“These are so important because they’re our heritage and there’s no respect given to how special these Sixties’ murals are. There’s little enough art in the streets as it is.”

To volunteer with the project and help man the underpasses while work takes place, email