Leicester College News

Wildlife mural donated to Leicester College nursery


Local man creates a bird mural and donates it to Leicester College nursery for the children to enjoy

Ray Newcome, a local gentleman aged 94, donated a mural he created to the Leicester College children’s nursery facility and spent some time with the youngsters.

Ray, who lives near the Freemen’s Park campus, has a keen interest in birds and enjoys spotting different species in his garden. Together with his carer Louise Johnson, he created a beautiful mural with pictures and information about the range of colourful birds that can be found in gardens.

Ray has also created murals for waiting rooms at his local GP surgery and the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Most recently, he has created one to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee which will be displayed at the Eyres Monsell community centre over the Jubilee weekend and then housed permanently at the Pork Pie library. Ray received a letter from the Queen thanking him.

Louise had been a receptionist at Leicester College for ten years, and her children attended the nursery. Ray and Louise thought that the children would like to look at, and learn from, the mural and so decided to donate it to the nursery so that it could be displayed for the children.

Ray was able to visit the nursery, along with Louise, to present the children and staff with the mural. He said: “I’m a very creative person and am always working on something. I think having something colourful to look at can help people, and give them something to think about.”

Tracey Stewart, Nursery Manager at Leicester College said: “The visit went down really well as the children and Ray appeared to have great fun chatting and sharing stories about themselves and the picture. We felt privileged to be chosen as recipients of his work. It is of great benefit to the children at our nursery to meet up with different people from our local community.”

She adds: “This activity was also a boost for Ray who is confined to his house for long hours but still likes to keep active and interact with people of all ages.”

Louise commented: “Both Ray and the kids enjoyed spending time together – Ray asked them questions about the birds on the mural and they asked him questions about his life. They even wanted to play hide and seek with him!”

Ray, who calls himself an ‘Aylestonian’, has lived in the area since he was born in 1928. He likes to keep busy, has written his memoirs, ‘Life on the ‘Saf’, about growing up in an area on the Saffron Lane estate. Ray’s parents moved from the slum area to the new estate just before he was born. Ray was determined to make a successful life and he went on to own Leicester Tile Centre.

Even in retirement he continues to work hard and keep busy and has plans for more murals in the future.

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