Welcome to the Wonderful Walk
"The Wonderful Walk mural has brought people from across Herne Hill together."
The Guinness World Record breaking mural can now be seen in Herne Hill South London. Last year 2,300 children from 8 schools alongside local residents all came together to set a new world record. Previous record holders in Mexico achieved 1,119 participants across 3 days. Herne Hill kids and residents doubled this to 2,300 in just two days. Herne Hill’s long, dark and grotty underpass between Station Square and Milkwood Road has now been transformed with the newly hung forty metre artwork - a reproduction of the original - is now taking pride of place alongside new community gallery installations.
George Hornby, Chair of Herne Hill Forum said: “The Wonderful Walk mural has brought people from across Herne Hill together". Over 2,300 school kids and locals rolled-up their sleeves to bring the mural to life and break the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a colour-by-numbers mural. The mural, designed by Victor Szepessy, captures the spirit of Herne Hill and its community, past and present.
The 40m long mural, finely reproduced onto highest grade durable vinyl to protect the original from graffiti and vandalism, has just been hung in the underpass in Herne Hill. With the original mural to follow on public display as soon as a safe home has been found, for example, possibly in Station Hall. Transforming what was previously a dark and grotty passageway, the mural has transformed this space into an incredible community focal point. As the artwork began to be unveiled along the walls, the tunnel began to reverberate with exclamations of amazement from excited passers-by: ‘Wow!’, ‘It’s here!’, ‘It’s amazing!’, ‘I coloured in that square!’. Already, the mural is becoming a special focal point at the heart of this proud and active community.
Herne Hill Forum commissioned local artist, Victor Szepessy, to create a design for the 40 metre long mural, which has brought to life the spirit of Herne Hill, its community, key people, places fables and myths. Did you know that a Nobel Prize was achieved in Herne Hill? Or that we had our very own Great Train Crash? Children from eight primary schools in Herne Hill - Jessop, Michael Tippett (children with special educational and physical needs) , Herne Hill School, St Jude’s, Turney (children with learning difficulties), Rosendale, St Saviour’s and Judith Kerr - coloured in the whole mural with paint pens over two days - a whopping 1,161 primary school kids and 1,171 local residents, setting a huge new world record.
The event was an epic effort from across the community, with everyone involved making this a day to remember - with children from as young as two years old, people with a range of disabilities, and volunteers working 24/7 to deliver the project on time. Key local dignitaries including the Mayors of Lambeth and Southwark, David Statham MD of Southeastern, Cllrs Jim Dickson and Becca Thackray, and Helen Hayes MP all turned up to support this monumental undertaking.
The record busting achievement took place on 12th and 13th September 2018 in Station Square, Herne Hill. It was made possible with funding, resources and support from Aviva, Southeastern, Network Rail, Lambeth Council and local businesses, and an army of volunteers from Herne Hill and Network Rail.
Mark Rylance, acclaimed actor and local resident said, on the day of the record attempt: “I regularly use this underpass - what was once a very unattractive space, will now be transformed. It’s great that this space can be celebrated and has been decorated especially by the children.”
Lucy Reynolds, Project Manager from the Herne Hill Forum, said, “We are so excited that we have broken the Guinness World Record and that the incredible mural artwork is now on display for all to see. The mural has been a massive, community-led project and has brought together so many people. Over 6,000 colour-by-number sections were completed over the two record attempt days by the Herne Hill local community. Now that it is in position, it has been so moving to see local children and residents carefully scanning the artwork to find ‘their’ very special square. The support we had was a true inspiration and reflection of the spirit of this community and we hope that people from far and wide will come to see and enjoy such a unique, collaborative creation.”
Photo credit: Amit Lennon