How a Bristol Barclays ATM became a giant Scrabble board

As a canvas for some of the world’s best street artists, new creative work often pops up around Bristol.

Downtown is an ever-changing public gallery, where the colorful murals are sure to elicit a few double takes from passers-by.

There is a mysterious facility that many people have missed, despite its position in a busy corner of Broadmead.

READ MORE: Park Street closure plans criticized in Tory council motion

Part of a wall along the horse fair has been transformed into a giant Scrabble board, with real tiles from the game spelling out a random selection of words.

Most shoppers will be too busy heading to Primark, or the soon to be closed Marks and Spencer nearby, to stop and wonder why it’s there.

Located at the junction with Union Street, near The Works, the tiled ‘plank’ took the place of what was once an ATM outside Barclays bank.

The two ATMs outside the bank were already surrounded by checkered wall tiles resembling a Scrabble board, and over the years someone seems to have repurposed one of them after spotting the similarity .

In 2012, ATMs were boarded up with ordinary hardware after the bank closed, and they remained that way for at least two years.

Below: ATMs sentenced in 2012

According to Google Street View records, it was in 2015 or 2016 that the old ATMs were covered in the same tile as the perimeter wall – albeit in a slightly lighter shade, which sets it apart from the rest of the city. ‘background.

It wasn’t until years later that letter tiles first appeared, pictured on Google as of 2019, and they appear to have maintained the same formation until today.

Some boxes have been filled with a ‘two-letter score’ and a ‘three-word score’ and all the other bonus tiles you would expect to see while playing the game.

A word spells ‘vandalism’, from which comes ‘art’ spelled backwards.

“Rebe” and “ife” are among the most confusing words on the board, possibly remnants of whole words that have since lost an L or other letters.

Dot, duet, egg, good, love, like, never, and before are also featured, and someone seems to have added their own hand-drawn heart tile as well.

Of course, people took the opportunity to turn some letters into rude words, with ‘ALLS’ scribbled in marker after the letter B, and ‘RECTION’ after the letter E.

Two of the original words spell “street” and “art” – but if this is a description of the Scrabble board, the artist appears to have left no trace of a signature or tag to claim it.

Do you know who revamped the wall at Scrabble? We would love to hear from you, email [email protected]

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