The restoration of the John Lennon / Stuart Sutcliffe was a formidable undertaking. A valuable piece of Beatle and Liverpool history had been found but formidable because it stood in 2 feet of flooded water in cellar of a derelict building and covered in a web of dry rot fungus that had completely lifted the image from the brickwork and plasterwork below. Whilst the rebuilding of the old Jacaranda club went on around me the process of restoration was detailed and painstaking. Every square inch of the mural, or what was left of it, was traced and cross referenced with archive photographs taken of the “Quarrymen” and other bands as they played within the club in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
John Lennon Mural
Samples of the paint where taken to identify what was used and what colour it was 40 years earlier. Gradually a full understanding emerged of how and when they completed the murals and how best they could be restored. However, the reality was severe that the dry rot fungus had hold of some 70% of the surface and was holding on to it like a fine lace curtain and wasn’t going to let go. After detailed tracing and photographic documentation of the image had been taken the lace curtain of dry fungus was carefully cut with a pair of scissors along its uppermost edge and it fell to the floor as dust.
After many more months the image was rebuilt and repainted. Most of the mural is repainted as it would have been 40 years ago with a vibrancy and depth of colour. However, some parts especially within the “ghoul” mural were simply cleaned and left as they would have been holding onto secrets that only I know of. Words and brief notes written on the surface that are only detectable by close scrutiny, messages and instructions between Lennon and Sutcliffe as they created this unique artwork.
Sadly, the work has since been partly repainted in different colours.