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New County Durham mural 'divides opinion' as mystery of who painted it continues

The Station Freehouse, in Station Road, St Helen Auckland, closed in 2015 and has fallen into disrepair <i>(Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)</i>
The Station Freehouse, in Station Road, St Helen Auckland, closed in 2015 and has fallen into disrepair (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

A mystery mural that has been spotted in County Durham has divided opinion after questions were raised over where the creative artwork came from.

The Station Freehouse, in Station Road, St Helen Auckland, closed in 2015 and has fallen into disrepair.

Residents have reported that it has attracted poor behaviour since that time.

The Northern Echo: A close up of The Station mural
The Northern Echo: A close up of The Station mural

A close up of The Station mural (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

The fire-damaged building has been up for auction several times but has failed to meet its reserve price.

Since the pub closed residents have complained about various issues, including scrap cars outside the building, as well as issues with drug abuse, fly-tipping and general antisocial behaviour.

The Northern Echo: One of pieces of artwork on the side of The Station
The Northern Echo: One of pieces of artwork on the side of The Station

One of pieces of artwork on the side of The Station (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Despite all of the ongoing issues over the last eight years, a 'mystery' mural has appeared on the front and side of The Station Freehouse, which depicts a train travelling through a mountain scene.

While the impressive mural might now sit pride of place on the front of the former pub, the creator of the artwork has not been revealed - with locals said to be curious about where it came from.

The Northern Echo: Questions have been raised about who created the mural
The Northern Echo: Questions have been raised about who created the mural

Questions have been raised about who created the mural (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

It seems like the mural has also divided opinion online since several photos appeared on social media, with the majority of people thinking it smartened up the former venue, but some people have said that the building still looks an 'eyesore'.

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Taking to social media, one person backed the new mural, saying: "Must admit it looks amazing, definitely an improvement on what it was like," while another added: "It's absolutely amazing - I look at it several times a day."

However, others have been quick to criticise the artwork, saying that the whole building needs "knocking down".

One person online said: "It needs knocking down, yes the picture looks nice but that will soon change over the years. What about the houses next to it too? They are still an eyesore; the whole site wants scrapping and rebuilding."