A PARKING firm has apologised after painting over a much-loved mural dedicated to a children's poet in a Colchester car park. 

Osborne Street car park was home to a number of murals, including a Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star mural in tribute to children’s poem writer Jane Taylor who wrote it in Colchester.

The mural in the stairwell of the multi-storey car park, managed by NCP, has been painted over after bosses decided they needed to "refresh and redecorate".

Gazette: Mural - Twinkle twinkle little star muralMural - Twinkle twinkle little star mural (Image: Sir Bob Russell)

Colchester’s High Steward Sir Bob Russell said the mural has been “obliterated, along with other murals which brightened the walls, with a bland covering of light grey and white paint.”

The former Colchester MP has been fundraising for a statue of the famous children’s poem writers Ann and Jane Taylor.

The sisters were said to have lived in West Stockwell Street in Colchester from 1796 to 1810.

A blue plaque is placed outside the home to commemorate the sisters.

Gazette: Painted - the stairway now the mural has been painted overPainted - the stairway now the mural has been painted over (Image: Sir Bob Russell)

Fundraising is ongoing for the statue, which is hoped to be unveiled in April.

Sir Bob said: “It is disappointing that the murals which brightened up an otherwise dismal stairwell have been painted over, with the one featuring the world-famous nursery rhyme which was written in Colchester in 1806 in particular having now been lost.

“Fortunately, I took a photograph of it just before last Christmas.”

Sir Bob said that a young lady who works in the city centre, and who parks in Osborne Street, had originally told him about the mural because she knew he was raising funds for a statue to commemorate Jane Taylor and her sister.

Gazette: Fundraising - Sir Bob has been raising money for the statueFundraising - Sir Bob has been raising money for the statue (Image: Sir Bob Russell)

A few days ago she contacted him again to tell him that it had been painted over, along with all the other murals.

A spokesman for NCP said: “As a business we have to decorate and maintain the paintwork on our buildings, the murals have been a lovely asset on this site but have been there for a long time and we were needing to repaint the building.

“We are so sorry to customers who enjoyed looking at these murals over the years, and we hope they understand that we needed to refresh and redecorate on this occasion.”