A new mural has paid tribute to inspirational Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised more than £29 million for the NHS.
Captain Tom has raised the money by walking laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday this week.
Now a double glazing business has installed a lasting reminder of the veteran’s selfless efforts, with a mural depicting the pensioner’s smiling face, his walking frame, British soldiers and featuring the NHS logo.
The mural was the idea of businessman Andy Farrington, who runs Bradley Scott Windows on the A5 Watling Street in Tamworth, West Midlands.
He was inspired to act after talking to the headteacher of Three Peaks Academy School, with whom the firm has ties, to discover their pupils were penning thank you cards to NHS staff.
The completed mural by artist Graffiti by Title covers one of the glazing firm’s exterior walls and is sited opposite a separate previously painted mural to remember Britain’s war dead, on the side of the Bull’s Head pub.
Describing Captain Tom as “inspirational”, Mr Farrington felt he needed to do something to recognise the pensioner’s actions.
He said: “We’ve done similar stuff before for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
“But I was just watching this guy, Captain Tom Moore, and thought ‘you know what, we need to recognise his achievement’.
“He is such an amazing guy – and then what amazed me even more was that having done the laps he’d set out to, he went and did some more.”
Mr Farrington spent four days cleaning, filling and preparing the wall for paint, before hiring the artist to produce the mural in just over seven hours, on Monday.
The mural’s success has stunned the 57-year-old, who started his business in 1999, receiving messages of praise “from Belfast to America”.
“On the first day, we must have had about 200 people come and have a look – although they were all socially distancing,” he said.
Mr Farrington added that the mural to “top fella” Captain Tom would now be a lasting fixture.
“I’m going to leave it there permanently, it’s not moving,” he said.
“Across the road at the pub they’ve got the silhouette of the soldier with ‘Lest we Forget’ as well, so it all ties in nicely.”
The showroom is now also set to play host to Three Peaks’ pupils NHS thank you cards.
Mr Farrington added: “You know since this lockdown started it’s been tough some days, but you see him doing what he is doing, and you think we can do it – we can make it through.”
The mural comes as a school in Bedfordshire has been flooded with more than 125,000 cards from well-wishers across the globe for Captain Tom’s birthday.
Famous names including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England football captain Harry Kane were among those to send cards to Bedford School, where Captain Tom’s grandson, Benjie Ingram-Moore, is a pupil.
The veteran also became the oldest person to land a number one single with his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, recorded alongside Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care choir.