The architects’ department of The Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited commissioned Gyula Bajó, a Hungarian artist working in its offices, to produce a piece of public art for its new building on the corner of the Town Square in 1958-9.
A ceramic mural, 27’ by 20’, it depicts symbolic figures of the four cornerstones of a balanced economy; industry, commerce, transport and agriculture. The spinning wheel and its products represent textiles and consumer goods, the steelworker represents heavy industry, a teaching figure represents science and technology, and agriculture forms the background to the family.
www.waymarking.com says on its website that the slightly idealised old-fashioned imagery of the mural was intended to depict “the spirit and activities of the Co-operative movement as a whole and in relation to Stevenage”.
The building, 6-8, Town Square, is now Grade II listed by English Heritage.