‘Eyesore’ gets a welcome makeover

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A derelict billboard – more used for flyposting than advertising – is now an eye-catching mix of symbolism central to Eastern religions and 
Leamington’s spa water.

The Old Town billboard on Crown Terrace, off High Street, had been in a scruffy state for years and gave a bad impression for people new to the area and arriving by train.

It is on a road that leads to the Shree Krishna Temple and includes the Om symbol, used in Hinduism and other Eastern religions, and the wording alludes to Leamington’s spa connection. Temple member and businessman Vik Tara bought the billboard site on behalf of Tara & Co, estate and letting agents, and said it could also be used to promote events in Old Town. He said: “This billboard has been an eyesore for a number of years. Now it’s a combination of looking nice and having a positive message.

“It’s not selling you anything. If it looks bright and brightens up someone’s day – then it’s effective.”

Leamington Town Council provided a small grant, and local artist Fran Godwin, and his colleague Richard Proffitt, produced the image. Fran said: “The idea of the poster is to make a connection between the spas of Old Town Leamington and their natural origin and the Om symbol used as border. Om represents the source and essence of all things.

“We are surrounded by adverts asking us to consume without thinking about the consequences of our consumption – this is asking us to remember the source of all life, without which we cannot live.”

Green Party members have been attempting to get the site tidied up for more than two years. Member Will Roberts said: “What a delightful welcome this will give to the people arriving by train – a truly uplifting image as well as being bright and eye-catching.”

Mr Tara added: “This is an example of the Old Town community coming together and improving the local environment and we thank the Green Party for facilitating this project.”