Cook and Endeavour murals now restored

A pair of murals featuring Captain James Cook and his ship, the Endeavour, which have adorned the wall of Whitby Pavilion’s Northern Lights suite for nearly 30 years, have been restored.

The huge circular murals were painted to mark the opening of the Pavilion in 1990. The Pavilion was built to replace the former Floral Pavilion, demolished over the winter of 1988-89 and was opened at the start of the 1990 summer season

One of the murals is a portrait of Cook and the other depicts the Whitby built ship which took him on his first great voyage of discovery.

Over the years time had taken its toll on the condition of the paintings.

Now, in a project undertaken by Friends of Whitby Pavilion, working with Whitby artist John Freeman, they have been restored to their former glory.

Earlier this year, to complement a complete redecoration of the Northern Lights being undertaken by the management company, Sheffield International Venues, Pavilion manager Jill Gomez-Mannion asked Friends if they were able to help restore the murals to preserve them for future generations.

Friends’ chairman Elizabeth Cheyne told the Whitby Gazette: “We were pleased to be able to help.

“We sought the advice of John Freeman and were delighted when he agreed to tackle the project for us.”

The work involved initial surface preparation – filling holes, sanding, and repairing other damaged areas – and then John was able to set to work re-touching the paintwork.

It is particularly fitting that the murals have been restored this year, with the forthcoming Captain Cook Festival to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas aboard the Endeavour.

John gave his time and skills free of charge and in acknowledgement of his work and expertise Friends have made a donation to the Fight for Whitby Fund with which he is involved.

Thanking him for his efforts on Friends’ behalf, Ms Cheyne said: “We are immensely grateful to John for his detailed restoration of the murals. His work has brought them back to life and they will be admired for many years to come.”

Friends of Whitby Pavilion is a support group which raises funds and, working with SIV and the borough council which owns the building, undertakes projects to help enhance facilities at the Pavilion for all users.

Recent projects have included purchase of stretch covers for tables and chairs, booster cushions for use by youngsters in the theatre and for cinema screenings, and the redevelopment and ongoing maintenance of the garden area between the steps from the cliff top car park to the upper entrance.