Sunday, 14 June 2009

Up Against The Wall IV

This particular piece of Salford graffiti is perhaps where my interest in stupid and ineffectual wall-daubings began. From what I remember, it was added in the mid-70s when I lived a couple of streets away. There used to be steps and an opening on the right, so this was a shortcut from home (Wellington Street West) or my maternal grandparents house (Kipling Street) to the papershop or the Chinese Chippy whose backyard is to the left of this image.

There was a 70s porn star, reputed to have a particularly large member, called Long Dong Silver and I've always assumed that this was a joke on that. Although, as with most of the other graffiti I've posted, you have to wonder why somebody went out of their way to paint it on a wall.

When I moved back to Salford in the late 80s it was obscured by wall-climbing plants. For all I knew, it had gone forever. That's the nature of graffiti - 'Victoire Vietnam' on the side of The Manchester Tennis and Racquet Club is slowly slipping away, 'Heath Out!' near the tip the other side of Drinkwater Park has vanished behind brambles for the time being, and 'Anita Hepburn Is A Coppers Nark' has been cleaned up.

Then, about a year ago I was passing the site and saw that the buddleia or ivy or whatever it was had been cleared away. Why, I don't know. Another fan of 1 Ball King Dong desperate for a nostalgia fix? Either way, there it was again, in its full glory. 1 Ball King Dong. I'd been meaning to get a picture of it since then, but the only time I passed it was in the car and I kept forgetting to take the camera, or forgetting to ask the driver to stop, or not having enough time to stop, snap and go get the kids.

Recently, though, I've taken up an interest-free loan from work in order to buy a bike. It's been liberating, and my route of choice into work takes me through my old territory. Down streets I've passed along so many times you could take a swab from them and clone me from the DNA. It was a natural to pop a camera in my bag and head there. There's a locked gate across the bottom of the entry now, so I couldn't get as close as I wanted, but I did manage to squeeze the lens through and get my shot.


  1. ive always liked the victoire vietnam sign.

    pass it everytime i get the m10 into town.

  2. I saw a similar one on a railway bridge in Gorton or some other South Manchester Hell Hole a few years back. 'Victoire Vietnam' does not, of course, fit my criteria of stupid and ineffectual graffiti. It belongs in the pretentious and ineffectual folder, but I still love it.