A new mural featuring a flock of parakeets and Cottongrass — the flower of Manchester — has popped up in Withington.

The artwork is the latest in a series of paintings that make up the Withington Walls street art project. Artist Peachzz — real name Megan — put the finishing touches on the image last week.

Flurries for parakeets can regularly be spotted in the skies above South Manchester, despite being an indigenous bird of Australia.

There are a number of wild theories surrounding why so many of the colourful birds live in the city’s suburbs, with the general consensus being that they were pets that escaped or were released from captivity way back in the 1970s.

The mural wraps around The Albert, a famous Irish pub that has sat in the heart of Withington since the 1850s. The pub’s landlord is Tommy Grogan who, at 91, is thought to be one of the oldest landlords in Britain.

Speaking about the artwork, Tommy said: “I think it’s wonderful, and Megan has made it even more precious with the parakeets. I have been here nearly 40 years now and it’s a very old-fashioned place but this has really brought us to the fore. I’m sure we’ll get a lot of comments, most of them have got to be good. It’s just marvellous.”

Withington Walls is a community project that aims to reinvigorate the area by commissioning and delivering quality street art. There are well over 100 pieces of artwork now scattered across the village.

Speaking about the reception she received in Withington, Megan said: “Everyone’s been so welcoming, they’ve really looked after me. The response has been pretty incredible. There has been no end of people coming and saying hello and offering cups of tea, which I’m thankful for.”

“The idea came from Ed Wellard, who runs Withington Walls. I could paint whatever I wanted, but he was telling me about all the parakeets here in Manchester and I found the whole concept of birds being released really interesting. They are beautiful birds and it’s really brightened up the area.”

Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Fri 14 Jul 2023