Famous pub gets jazzed up pictures of Old Duke

A familiar sign at one of Bristol's most renowned pubs has been given a new look. Passers-by in King Street will see that The Old Duke, named after blues legend Duke Ellington, has new signs.

Two new portraits of the Duke, on either side of the sign, have replaced the old. Landlord Stuart Seydel commissioned the pictures from Bristol artist Graeme Robbins aged 42 of Westbury Park.

Stuart said:"I mentioned to one of the bar staff that I was thinking of replacing the signs and she told me she knew Graeme. He came up with some ideas and I gave him the go-ahead.

Graeme said" "Every time I looked at the sign I realised what a famous pub it was. The last time I was there, there was a group of Japanese tourists taking pictures of the sign.

"I have exhibited in London, Tel Aviv and the Bristol Guild but I realised that this commission was rather important. The project suddenly became rather daunting. Everyone who came into the studio and saw the pictures wanted to help and I had to hand over my paintbrush. Ultimately, though it is all my own work"

Graeme has been a painter in Bristol since he graduated from Bath University with a first class degree in art.

He said: "I have scraped the varnish off the original sign and kept it because I think it is part of Bristols' history."