‘Banksy’ portrait shock for former Flintshire Courtaulds worker

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A FORMER factory worker had the shock of her life when she learned she had become the latest muse for the Flintshire Banksy.

Rita Jones returned from a holiday in Dubai with her husband John to discover the artist known as Random had recreated her portrait on the side of the old Courtaulds Building in Greenfield Dock.

Rita, now 62, was informed of the portrait, dubbed The Courtaulds Girls, when her friend told her that she had seen it in the Leader.

The couple, from Afonwen near Mold, immediately set out to find the piece of art.

John said: “We looked everywhere for it and then we finally turned a corner at Greenfield Dock and there it was. When she saw it she was cock-a-hoop.

“We think it’s unbelievable. I made Rita stand by it and point at it. She was made up.”

The portrait shows five former Courtaulds factory workers at a Christmas party in 1968.

It appeared after the mystery artist approached Vicky Perfect, who is pictured in the centre of the picture, and asked her permission to recreate it.

Vicky said Louie Dixon is pictured on her left, but could not recall the names of the other girls.

Rita, whose maiden name is Owen, is pictured on the far left and remembers the names of her colleagues.

From left to right is Rita, Jan Evans, Vicky Perfect, Louis Dixon and Molly Hughes.
Rita worked at Courtaulds Deeside works for seven years threading the nylon on to the machines.

She said: “It was such a shock when I saw it because it was taken such a long time ago. It is really good and I’m very proud.”

The couple admit they are fans of Random’s work.

John added: “I had heard about him before, but I didn’t appreciate how good he was. It’s just a shame that it’s going to weather away on the steel.”

Random, whose identity remains shrouded in mystery, is believed to be creating a series of paintings portraying workers in the traditional industries.

Past portraits include The Steel Worker and The Salmon Fisherman.

See full story in the Leader

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