Black Sabbath bench: skilled artisan’s careful renovation of city’s top tourist attraction

Anyone out and about on Broad Street over the weekend might have spotted careful renovations taking place on the world-famous Black Sabbath bench.

Skilled artisan Adam Marshall was commissioned by Westside BID to spruce up the images of band members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.

It was a real labour of love for Adam, who was involved in the original preparation of the bench back in 2018, before its eventual unveiling to the public the following year.

But this was no simple repainting job, as there were several stages to make sure that the etchings on the heavy metal bench continued to stand out.

Adam said: “It was brilliant to be asked to spruce the bench up, and I really enjoyed doing this at the weekend as it resulted in such great engagement with the public.

“People were so interested, with many thanking me and some giving me fist bumps! Others asked me what had gone wrong, as they were worried the bench might have been vandalised.

“The truth is, the Black Sabbath bench is so loved that people are touching it every hour of every day, climbing and sitting on it to have their pictures taken. This means scratching the bench is inevitable, but it’s not just a case of touching it up with paint.

“I had to use masking tape to protest the halo-style chrome parts, and then used liquid latex to pick out the details again. Then I had to carefully sand down the images before applying the specialist paint.

“But I loved giving the bench the care and attention it needs, enabling it to stay in the public domain and to be enjoyed by so many thousands of visitors.

“One day the bench might have to go back into a workshop for an even more in-depth renovation, as it would be sad to see it fall into disrepair. But for now we’ve managed to spruce it up so that it’s shining again for the summer!”

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “We’re really grateful to Adam who’s used his specialist skills to keep the bench in as tip-top condition as possible.

“As the years go on, we’ll have to take the bench back in for some serious work to make sure it’s fit for the future, but for now it’s back in mint condition for its loving fans and the public at large.”

All pictures used courtesy of Daniel Sturley.


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