A QUIET residential street is at war over a house plastered in brightly-coloured paint.
Residents Nick and Megan Underwood covered their terraced home in a graffiti-style mural – and not everyone’s happy about it.
While some neighbours “love” the statement artwork and think it livens up the area, others couldn’t disagree more.
They say the scene depicting a local historic canal bridge is a bit of an eyesore and isn’t in keeping with their “normal” community.
Passers-by can’t miss the colourful design which the couple say “symbolises the evolution of the town”.
Builder Nick said: “I knew I wanted a mural on the house as we couldn’t get rid of the render on the outside, so this was like a solution.
“Over the past year I’ve bumped into about five different artists and would ask them if they would be able to do a mural.
“Then on a Friday night in mid-October, I was driving home and I saw the most amazing mural on a wall in Swindon.
“Thankfully, there was a man still finishing off painting the corner, so I asked if he was interested in being commissioned to do something.
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“He was unsure at first, but eventually agreed and it all worked out.”
The artists, Ed Poster and Mickey Raw, were shown a photograph of the bridge, and set off on painting it on the outside of Nick and Megan’s home.
The real bridge was originally built in 1883, and is known as Skew Bridge because it crossed the canal at a angle.
Now it’s finished, Nick says neighbours and people walking past always recognise the structure and love the painting, which they paid £1,200 for plus the cost of scaffolding.
“The neighbours opposite but one said they moved their bed in their bedroom so they could see it,” he said.
“Absolutely everyone walks past it and says ‘wow that’s the canal bridge’. It’s really nice that people like it and feel connected to it.”
Rob Lord, who lives nearby, described the finished product as “lovely”.
The 64-year-old, who is retired, said: “It looks better than all the other houses I’d say, it stands out for sure.
“I can use it to give other people directions. I used to tell them to go past the pub but they’ve all closed down, so now I say ‘if you go past the painted house’ instead.”
IT technician Begonia Sepa lives directly opposite and said she “absolutely loves it”.
“I think it’s fantastic,” the 43-year-old added. “It brightens up the area so much. I think it will inspire people to do something similar.”
Tonia Craig, 55, and Nazreth Gomus, 53, agreed that it is exactly what the community needs.
Researcher Tonia said: “It’s beautiful and brightens up the place”, while Nazreth, a chef, added: “I can see it from my bedroom window when I wake up and I like it, it’s very nice.”
And retiree Hilary Loveday, 63, said she would love to live next door to a masterpiece like that.
But speaking to others living in the neighbourhood revealed not everyone is a fan of the bold paint job.
Josie Lewis, 70, said: “I don’t think it works in this area or in Swindon.
“I know of some artists paint houses, but it’s only ever the side of an end of terraced one, never one in the middle in between all these old normal houses.
”I know it’s not my home, but I wouldn’t do that and I wouldn’t like if one of my neighbours did that either.
“For it to be right in the middle of a row of old, traditional houses looks weird. It’s simply not in keeping with the area and I expect they’ll be asked to take it down.”
It’s simply not in keeping with the area.
Judie Rouse agreed that it “doesn’t fit with the area” and should be removed.
The 77-year-old said: “It’s pretty awful when you think about it.
“Houses along these roads are so old and made of special brick so to cover it up with something like that is totally out of place.
“It’s hard to make Swindon look any worse I suppose, but if a house did that on my close the world would implode.”
Toribia Agular, 71, admitted it was “artistically nice” but insisted it is “a bit out of place”.
And Emma Hosking, who is unemployed, said it was “too much colour” for her.
The 38-year-old added: “I wouldn’t be tempted to do it myself, but each to their own I suppose.
“It’s not really something I want to see more of round here, it doesn’t quite fit.
“I hope it doesn’t catch on too much because it’s not quite my thing, but it’s nice that it’s of the canal bridge round the back.”