THE creative hobby of a Flintshire man has resulted in a unique record of a town in the county.

Justin Varney works in IT but spends some of his free time as an urban sketcher.

Using ink and a notebook, the 48-year-old from Bryn-y-baal near Mold, has created a one-of-a-kind piece of art.


Urban artist Justin Varney.

Urban artist Justin Varney.


Starting in October 2022, Justin began drawing street scenes along one side of Buckley, finishing the work almost a year later about August/September time.

The result is a six metre long drawing that folds out from the notebook, featuring familiar places, including shopfronts, landmarks and pubs.

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Justin started at Hibberts Corner and finished at the Tivoli Venue. The work includes the Black Lion, Dapper Daniel's and the town's shopping precinct, as well as a nod to the 20mph controversy.


One of the scenes from Justin Varneys artwork.

One of the scenes from Justin Varney's artwork.


There are subtle nods to the time of year or season each section was completed, such as a Remembrance poppy in a shop window, foliage or the presence of a Christmas tree.

Working in permanent pen meant there was no going back for each piece, what Justin put down on paper, was what stayed down. He would add splashes of colour but the detail is really the star of the show.

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Justin, who is self taught, said: "I've really enjoyed it. I got to chat to all sorts of people who would ask what I was up to, as I sat or stood opposite each location.


One of the scenes from Justin Varneys artwork.

One of the scenes from Justin Varney's artwork.


"I would go out most weekends. Being in permanent ink meant I couldn't really cover mistakes.

"I finished at the Tivoli, taking a seat with me to take a bit of time over it. It's a place with lots of happy memories."

A few of the Buckley businesses featured have expressed an interest in the work, and it's hoped it could eventually be on display.

Now Justin, who created his own gadget to hold the notepad and tools while he worked, will start a new piece in January, starting with the Black Horse pub.