A portrait of Charlie Burns by Jim Vision, London, September 2020
Charlie Burns, known as the King of Bacon Street, died in 2012 at the age of 96. He was born close to Bacon Street and moved to the street itself as a young child. He then lived here for the rest of his life, raising his own family here.
He was a paper merchant as a youngster, and later ran a local boxing club. He would be seen on Bacon Street every day. In his later years he’d be spotted sitting in his daughter’s car watching life around him. He was a great loss to the community when he died as witnessed by the crowds at his funeral and the many warm tributes given.
In 2011, the year before his death, street artist Ben Slow created a portrait of Charlie, and that wall in Bacon Street has since seen several visual tributes to the local hero, each created by a different street artist. As soon as one deteriorates it seems a new one is created.
This year, there is a new version by Jim Vision. I particularly like this one, with a close up portrait and a charming background of a London street with cosy lights and reflections in the puddles.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 30 November 2020