Hastings Old Town gets a Ben Eine street mural

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AN eye-catching new mural is bringing a flavour of 1980s New York to a traditional Old Town street.

World-renowned street artist Ben Eine, who has a workshop in St Leonards, has transformed a dirty stretch of unused boarding into a stunning blast of hip hop inspired artwork.

Eine, who has already left his mark on Hastings with a host of giant letters on shop shutters across the town and a 20-foot high Prince Charles portrait in Norman Road, jumped at the chance to spruce up the plot next to Harris’s tapas bar in High Street.

The idea came after the restaurant’s owner, Harris Woodcock, found out one of her staff was friends with the artist - who has worked with Banksy in the past.

“I got her to talk to Ben,” explained Mrs Woodcock, “and he seemed really keen to do something.

“I then had to run it by the rest of the High Street Traders Association - and most of them thought I was mad. I managed to convince them and Ben came down after a recent trip to the US and he came down and did it.

“There was quite a crowd of people watching and taking photographs and the feedback so far has been excellent.

“We wanted to make better use of the boarding, which we have always used to advertise Old Town businesses. It was getting tacky and dirty. The new design is only temporary because I believe there are plans to build a new home on the site - but we will enjoy it while it is here.

“It is eye-catching, hypnotic and bright and definitely adds something to the Old Town.”

Anyone who wants to see it should head down soon because Eine, who saw one of his canvasses presented to US President Barack Obama by David Cameron, has promised to head back in the next month or so and do it all again.