THE RESTORATION OF THE JACARANDA CLUB MURAL PAINTED BY STUART SUTCLIFFE, JOHN LENNON AND ROD DAVIS (by British artist Terry Duffy)
“The restoration was both an enjoyable and formidable undertaking. Enjoyable because an invaluable piece of Beatle and Liverpool history had been found but formidable because it stood in two feet of flooded cellar in a derelict building and covered in a strong web of dry rot fungus that had completely lifted the image from the brickwork and plaster 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. Samples of the paint were taken to identify what was used and what colour it was 40 years earlier.
The reality was severe that the dry rot fungus had hold of some 70% of the surface and was holding onto it like a fine lace curtain and wasn’t going to let go. After detailed tracing and photographic documentation had been taken the curtain of fungus was carefully cut with a pair of scissors along its uppermost edge and it fell to the floor as rubble and dust.
After many more months the image was rebuilt. 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 the unique artwork.”