Giant 'Ay Up' mural aims to welcome visitors to Dewsbury

Street artist Trafford Parsons is planning to welcome locals and visitors into Dewsbury with a giant mural saying: “Ay Up” – but he’s not sure how to spell it!

Friday, 21st May 2021, 12:00 pm
Street artist Trafford Parsons at the railway bridge where he plans to paint a mural.

Trafford has been commissioned by Kirklees Council to produce the contemporary and colourful artwork but he wants a public vote on how the greeting should be spelled.

“I’ve spelled it ‘ay up’ but some people are saying it should be ‘ey up’ so I’m a bit confused,” said Trafford.

“It’s dialect, of course, so I don’t think spelling is vitally important, it’s all about how you say it.”

Ay up (or ey up) is thought to be old Norse in origin and is widely used to mean ‘how are you?’ in Yorkshire and parts of the Midlands.

However it’s spelled, the greeting is coming to a wall in Dewsbury town centre very soon.

Trafford’s preferred location is the railway bridge at the bottom of Crackenedge Lane.

It’s just awaiting approval from the council’s highways department.

Trafford, an internationally-known artist who has lived in Dewsbury for 20 years, says the mural will be approximately four metres high by 12 metres across.

He wants it to go on this particular wall as it’s just at the side of what used to be Dewsbury Central Station.

“It’s one of the gateways to the town and it’s where rail passengers would have arrived.

“It’s a greeting and a cheery motto to welcome people to Dewsbury with a smile,” said Trafford.

The mural is the latest commissioned piece under the Dewsbury Creative Towns Arts Programme.

Last week “Walls Have Ears” was installed on the side of Dewsbury Bus Station.

That work, by Adrian Riley, features eight brightly coloured metal panels.

More artwork is also planned for around the town including the subway off Longcauseway.

Trafford caused a stir back in March when he painted a double image of David Bowie on hoardings in Old Westgate at the back of Dewsbury Police Station.

He called the artwork “DewsBowie”.