Beautiful, glorious sunshine, perfect painting conditions, next to Lock 42 of the Grand Union Canal.
The first ‘Return of the Macks’ paint jam, happened on the May Bank Holiday in 1996 in Leicester, this would have happened in it weren’t for Andy Hitchcock and Solo one….(words below taken from a news article and stolen from the Return of the Macks 2017, FB Page)
One of the main driving forces behind the first Return of the Macks was Andy Hitchcock. Andy was the youth project worker at Central Hill Youth Project who managed to secure the hoardings on Western Boulevard from Sue Sanford at Leicester City Challenge.
It was during a series of workshops with Boyd Hill that the suggestion was made to create the U.Ks longest Graffiti wall and that plan was put in place with the date as The May Bank holiday 1996.
The Central Youth Project worked with young people from the estate and as a result of the workshops locals Karl Jones and John Woods were both presented with Certificates for their work on this project.
I wouldn’t like to say how many writers and crews took part in the original event, but from what I understand and tales that I have heard, writers travelled from far and wide, train, bused, hitchhiked or blagged a lift, to spend the weekend painting, meeting old and making new friends, using old fashion car paint, generally having a good a time and having the mother of all hangovers the next day… (and 21 years later, the writer’s repeat the process, although I don’t think anyone hitchhiked to the 2017 event, and I didn’t see anyone using ‘car plan’ but I did see plenty of hungover writers’s on Saturday, so something’s never change…more of the 2017 event to come)
I think the only way that you could understand the significance of the Return on the Macks 1996 event, is to watch this video, it’s 13mins long, (so make a cuppa first, and enjoy) there are a few key moments in the video that make smile or laugh, firstly it’s seeing how young my Lokey is, and that living with a messy a photographer and our 3 year old daughter, has either aged him or driven him round the bend…(more than likely my nagging), the spontaneous break dancing and hearing Solo One talk so passionately about Graffiti, and the response’s from people checking the hoardings…
I nearly forgot to mention, its old VSH Footage, pre-internet, pre-digital camera’s, so everything was film footage, and yes I still use film to shoot Graffiti 🙂
So 21 years later, its time for a reunion, so to say. Return of the Macks 2017 happened, alongside Bring the Paint and it’s all thanks to the lovely people at Graff HQ in Leicester. (more to follow in another post)
Also, you should check out Solo One’s Blog, he’s a wonder human being, and the world needs more people like him!
And if you’re wondering why the event was called Return of the Macks… Mark Morrison is to blame (and he’s from Leicester), his tune ‘Return of Mack‘, was no.1 in the charts at the time, when Solo One was deciding on a name for the event….