STREET ART EXMOUTH STYLE -
Yet another example of street art Exmouth style, this time up on the Exeter Road hung up outside reputable drinking den The Phoenix.
It's not been an easy life for this particular establishment as some years ago there was a fire there that was almost the ruin of the place. But just as the name suggests, it managed to pull itself together and then rise from the ashes like a... phoenix.
The pub sign, then, is an obvious choice. It's a very clear painting and as phoenixes go it's a good depiction of one. There's no mistaking it for an Exmouth seagull, for example. I do feel, however, that they're missing a trick here.
Does anybody remember Pat Phoenix, the actress who played Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street? She was the street's 'siren', always luring middle-aged men into her bed and was the bette noir of Ena Sharples? Always had a cigarette between her fingers and always in the Rovers Return? As a television character she was a British institution, absolutely associated with pubs and gossip and general working class life. Do you see where I'm going with this? Her last name was Phoenix...
If nothing else, re-branding The Phoenix with a new pub sign - a portrait of British television icon Pat Phoenix - would be a tourist attraction and pull in a few more customers. It certainly wouldn't lose any. It would put the pub on the map as it would be a news item that journalists everywhere would happily report on. It could bring in coach-loads of old Coronation Street fans journeying down from the North to pay homage. A shrine could be set up in a corner to her, or at least a bit of information about her for those too young to know. The Powder Monkey has information on its walls about Nancy Perriam, so The Phoenix could have the same about Pat Phoenix. Does it matter that there's no obvious Exmouth connection there? Does there have to be? There could be a beer named after her - "A pint of Pat Phoenix and a packet of crisps, please". It sounds perfect.
It's a no-brainer.
Legend. Icon. Institution.