C.W.S. mural, by G. Bajó

Town Square, above Primark

By Pauline Maryan

C.W.S. mural by G. Bajio

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.

This page was added on 28/08/2013.

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  • When I was a child just about everything in our house came from the co-op, so I saw quite lot of this wonderful mural. It always fascinated me, as did Soviet-Bloc postage stamps of the fifties and sixties, of which it is very reminiscent.
    It is still a fascinating thing and needs to be conserved and preserved.

    By John Thorn (31/07/2019)
  • This mural represents, to me, the hopes and promises of the early 1950s and the development of New Towns and New Hopes. I love it and really hope that no-one will decide to update the area and obliterate it.

    By JacMac (01/12/2018)
  • I always liked this mural, it was a little bit rural with cows on , and that, but I felt it symbolized that pseudo communist~socialist atmosphere that was lurking, especially amongst the youth at the time. It is a part of the town’s heritage. I was in Dresden the other day and was pleased to see a similar mural there! And dont forget that had been Deutsche Demokratische republik !

    By Christopher Patrick batchelor (06/10/2017)