Bubbles and biff: new mural highlights history of iconic laneway

Published on 04 January 2022

The next stroke of Singleton’s Living Laneways project will take over Soapsuds Lane with a vibrant mural artwork that will pay homage to its history.

Two centuries ago, Soapsuds Lane was bustling hub for travellers due in part to its proximity to George Street and the Hunter River crossing, flanked by an inn and wash house.  

Vicki Brereton, Singleton Council’s Director Organisation and Community Capacity said artist Bronte Naylor’s design would not only tell the story of the laneway, but also showcase Singleton’s creative culture within this important connection between George Street and Bailey Union Park. 

The mural artwork will be able to be seen from the New England Highway, with two sides of the Valley Hydraulic Services building acting as the canvas.

“The Living Laneways project has injected new life into the town centre, stimulating imagination and creativity throughout Singleton, and Soapsuds Lane will be no different,” Ms Brereton said. 

“The mural design was inspired by research, including old documents and newspaper articles, as well as consultation with local historians. 

“We know the laneway quite literally used to be filled with soap suds from the pales of washing water emptied from the wash house, and we also know from old newspaper articles that in the early 20th century it was the scene of a scuffle or two, so the inclusion of the bubble motif and boxing gloves within the design are a nod to that colourful past.”

Ms Brereton said Soapsuds Lane would be closed to traffic during the artwork installation, which is scheduled from 6 January between 8am and 5pm (excluding Sundays) for several weeks.

“Soapsuds Lane will be closed to traffic to allow the artist the space to create this vibrant, life-sized artwork  ̶  we are really excited to have Bronte Naylor back in Singleton following the success of the road mural she did in Burns Lane last year,” she said.

“Soapsuds Lane will be a great opportunity for locals to find renewed inspiration and for visitors to discover another hidden gem that showcases our area’s identity and creativity.”

For more information about the Living Laneways program, click here.

The Singleton Living Laneways project is funded by the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces program.