Legal walls in Donny?

Street art. The question is not if we like it or not. We love it. Rather can Donny peeps be trusted with the concept of legal walls? We could get into the pros and cons but instead let’s consider Doncaster’s latest street art project at Waterdale (opposite the old South Bus Station on College Road).  Proof that street art can transform a neglected area. Proof that graffiti artists are respecting not vandalising it. Proof that residents are praising it. And most important, proof that when you give people the freedom to paint what they want, they will paint with passion, rather than showcase their repertoire of naughty words. Let’s take a look…

Ben Parkinson, Donny Rovers & the Doncaster Market

Ben Parkinson, Donny Rovers & the Doncaster Market all captured in one mural beautifully by Dave Parkes, on the left hand side. Ben Parkinson visited it on the right hand side. Dave lives in Doncaster and studied art at college.

The girls from Breaking Beats who showed interest in street art, paid tribute to Kosy as they learnt new techniques.

Five Five aka Craig Hoyle hard at it. A professional artist from Donny who now lives in Sheffield. When you look the finished piece look for Craig’s tribute to the fallen Donny graff soldiers ‘Omen81’ & ‘Kosy’… Gone but not forgotten.

Let’s face it. There are too many parts of Donny town centre that look scruffy, deprived and in desperate need of colour. Something that Council employee Sophie Anderson did something about. Fed up of her daily walk to work from the Waterdale car park being a grim one, she took the initiative to ask Doncaster locals and artists if they could brighten it up with street art.

Tun up and mek a brew

Our fav Donny mantra brought to life by Liam Glover. This was his first go street art.

Julie Bowden Street Art

Mural by Julianne Bowden Lattimer. A Professional Artist from Doncaster who only started painting at 33. Julie also painted the angel wings.

Having budget to cover paint costs was an opportunity to open the participation to local kids, amateurs and semi-pros giving them a chance to try street art for the first time or to do something positive to help improve their hometown. Driven to create Donny’s own version of an East Side Gallery with all sorts of different styles next to each other, artists were invited to paint whatever they wanted a similar concept to the idea of a legal wall. So as long as it didn’t offend they had no restraints on the content of their art.

Breaking Beats Kids

5 kids came along dressing the part aged 9-15.

Be creative street art

Be creative by Sarah & Lizzy Stanley. Twin sisters from Doncaster who studied art at college.

People want a way to show they are proud of Donny

What was lovely to hear when I met Sophie and some of the artists to talk through this project was how much the they appreciated the opportunity of having a legal space to share their work and to do something positive to improve their hometown.

Art can be so many things. It may not always be to our taste but the talent it takes to create something, and the bravery it requires to share that talent – that deserves respect. 100%. To all who were involved thank you very much for inspiring us but more so for giving Donny something to smile about.

If you’ve been inspired by this work and would like to give it a go. There’s opportunity for a couple more artists to have a legal space as part of this project. Interested? Just email


Thanks to all the artists.

Dave Parkes. Julie BowdenCraig ‘FiveFive’ Hoyle. Liam Glover. Sarah & Elizabeth Stanley. Breaking Beats kids – Hannah, Gemma, Charli, Charlie and Louis, Ian Byatt & Arron Jack. Rachel Horne. Jo McQuade & Sophie Anderson.

Kosy tribute by Breaking Beats

Darren Cunningham ‘Kosy’ was tragically killed in a car accident – he worked with Breaking Beats doing community youth art projects. This is their beautiful tribute to his kindness & talent.


  • Theresa says:

    This is a brilliant,beautiful tribute to my nephew Darren.lm sure he would be well chuffed to see his art work carrying on through future generations.

  • It is great to see street art in my old town. I was a student at the old art college in Doncaster back in the 1980’s. I now run a gallery in Letchworth.