OLD KING COAL Sustrans railway path Pelton Fell co Durham, built with the help of local volunteers and redundant miners and steelworkers and completed the same day as the last colliery closed in County Durham.
Way back in 1992, the deconstruction of Britain’s heavy steel and coal industries was
well under way, and the term “post industrial “was clearly illustrated by many demolished steelworks ,coal mines ,and abandoned railways.
John Grimshaw , director and chief engineer of Sustrans had the vision and foresight to to redevelop these redundant facilities as long distance cycle paths as future important resources, as recreational, social and “green”links ,connecting communities rural and urban s well as facilitating access to our countryside again.
I was commissioned to build a series of milestone and landmark sculptures,using discarded materials found on nearby post industrial sites, and which informed passers-by of the changing nature and history of the surrounding landscapes.
These “site specific ” sculptures were low cost projects ,often improvised with free or bartered scrap from local industries. Sited on very exposed outcrops and slag heaps,and unsupervised public access along the cycle paths of the Durham Moors ,these “post industrial giants” still endure twenty five years on.
Sustrans continues to maintain these derelict structures which are inevitably subject to the ravages of time. These photos show some of the changes, the grafitti
and surrounding vegetation and landscape.
Old King Coal 25years later (Pelton Fell,Sustrans C 2 cycle path near Beamish
all recent photos by my archaeologist friends Richard and Christina.
The Old transformers, IRON MASTER 1990
Overlooking derelict site ofConsett Steelworks,once the largest steelworks in Europe.
STEEL MASTER 2001
OLD TRANSFORMERS 2018, photo Richard and Christina
the old transformers, Miner sustrans long distance cycle path Leadgate Co Durham.
The OLD TRANSFORMERS 2018.
The Old Transformers ,the Legend burnt into a thick steel plate,
“The men that lived near here,dug in the ground for the black stone,
In their giant huts ,they burnt the earth and turned the sky red.
A river of steel ran to the sea,where it was transformed into the ships,locomotives and machines that transformed the world”
For more information on the building of these sculptures please see my 27dec 2010BLOG “INDUSTRIAL GIANTS”