New mural in Vauxhall harks back to a time of pleasure gardens and balloons

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A new mural on a railway bridge at the corner of New Spring Gardens Walk in Vauxhall pays homage to a balloon record that stood between 1836-1914. Charles Green, a professional balloonist who had made 200 ascents at the time, flew 480 miles from Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to Nassau, Germany in the balloon Royal Vauxhall. 

This new mural is the latest example in a series of historic railway bridges that have been transformed into stunning pieces of art thanks to Network Rail’s unique partnership with community groups, schools, and artists.

The mural was painted by Nerone, a celebrated street artist and walls bearing his work can be seen in many places including Paris, New York, Bangkok and Marrakech.

Throughout his career, he has been commissioned to work for different artistic events around the world, such as the International Flowers Festival in Seoul, the FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin, and the Flower Show Turkey in Istanbul.

Nerone said: “I’ve really enjoyed working in Vauxhall and it has been a great experience despite the difficult weather conditions. Many people were curious to discover the new addition in the neighbourhood and congratulated me while I was painting.

“Compliments are always appreciated and I’m getting ready to paint more art in this amazing borough.”

Green’s historic voyage took place at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, which was, in its day, one of the most famous pleasure gardens in 19th century London; combining music, drinking, socialising and spectacular entertainments, like a combination of a modern nightclub and theme park.

Almost all relics from this golden age are now sadly gone, however its history, achievements and the amazing characters it produced is something community groups such as Vauxhall One are very keen to promote.

Robert Hodgkinson, franchise & access manager at Network Rail said: “I am delighted we have finally created this fantastic mural in Vauxhall that represents both the historical accomplishments of the past, and the diverse, multi-cultural heartbeat, now so warmly felt in the area.

“The design, artistic talent and endeavour that has gone into making this artwork such a poignant but celebratory creation, establishes a standard for future murals and artwork still to come.

“I would like to thank Vauxhall One and colleagues at Network Rail, for their help in making this such a great success.”

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