A Swindon artist transformed a boring playground into a stunning lagoon to complete the Community Cove, part of the Unity Garden community project by Shaw Ridge Primary School.

Billy Beaumont, from Grange Park, spent two days, turning the area into a waterside scene, complete with a boat and beach huts in time to surprise children as they return from their summer holidays.

“I finished it, posted the pictures online and thought ‘that was that’, but then it went crazy community-wise. They seemed to really enjoy it,” he said.

A full-time artists for more than ten years, he revealed the had a few nerves working on a community project like this.

“I guess with everything there’s a bit of trepidation. I always seem to get stuff that I’ve never done before, I want to do my best job. Sometimes it’s quite scary because I don’t want to mess it up,

“Playground paints were brand new to me, I ran out of paint in the first sessions and then used a different one to finish the job.”

“I was so focussed on getting the job right. If something had gone wrong it would’ve been impossible for me to fix it, so I stayed focussed until the end when I could take a step back. I just thought ‘oh my God look at that, wow’.

Billy, who has lived in Swindon for twenty years has been slowly but surely brightening up the town with his work - this is his third community project.

In July he painted a mural at Crowdys Hill School based on the story from New Zealand mythology, Rata and the Tree.

He explained: “I was asked what I could come up with that had a 3D element, so I came up with the idea of the tree as the mural and then the 3D part being the insects made from tin-foil and tape because it would survive being outside and the children wouldn’t get hurt.

“I made some videos to teach the children how to make the insects, and then they wouldn’t stop making them and they kept getting bigger and bigger.

“Well over 100 children helped to paint the mural and they all supplied insects and leaves with messages on. The children and all the staff made me feel extremely welcome.”

Billy also painted the Swindon, Then, When and Now mural at Theatre Square after being commissioned to help make the area look better.

This was also a community effort as members of the public could vote for which people and buildings would be featured, and were encouraged to take part.

“It took place over four weekends. We opened the doors to the gallery and invited anybody with or without experience to come and help paint. I think the youngest was three and the oldest was 92.”

He hopes to do more community projects in the future. “Community stuff is nice, quite stressful and nice, but worth it.” he said.