Give Peas Another Chance! Campaign aims to restore iconic M25 graffiti

By Ryan Hirons
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Give Peas Another Chance! Campaign aims to restore iconic M25 graffiti

Petition to bring back ‘Give Peas A Chance’ graffiti on viaduct gathers more than 5,000 signatures, with emotions running high on social media too

A petition has been launched to restore an iconic piece of graffiti that once adorned the M25 in Buckinghamshire.

The wording emblazoned across a section of the Chalfont Viaduct, which crosses the motorway between junctions 16 and 17 near Gerrards Cross, originally read ‘Give Peas A Chance’, but the word ‘Peas’ was mysteriously replaced by the even more puzzling ‘Helch’ last week.

More than 5,000 signatures have been collected on to bring the original lettering back to the railway bridge, with the petition – directed at arts, heritage and tourism minister Michael Ellis and Historic England chairman Sir Laurie Magnus – demanding that a protection order be placed on the Edwardian bridge and – once it’s restored – the graffiti.

It’s clear the British public are angered at the ‘vandalism’ of the decades-old wording, with many also taking to social media to make their feelings known.

One Twitter user posted a picture of the defaced slogan, proclaiming “this is outrageous.”

Another said: “Just learnt that the ‘GIVE PEAS A CHANCE’ graffiti on the bridge on the m25 has been removed and I don’t think I’ve ever been more upset. British landmark.”

Even a pigeon parody account got in on the act, threatening the defacer with “an aerial attack at a level never seen”.

Others wondered who, or what, Helch is. One user asked: “I think the important question here is *** does Helch even mean? Anybody know?”

Some are more open-minded, though. An embracing user said: “Going to try fish chips and #helch tonight, just to give it a chance”.

Bridge owner Network Rail denied it had altered the graffiti and warned people of the potentially fatal risk of what it said was vandalism.

“Peas” is believed to have been the tag of a graffiti artist, with “Give” and “A Chance” being daubed either side of it afterwards, punning on the anti-war song “Give Peace A Chance” written by John Lennon in 1969.