Recently I have received quite a few comments,photos,poems & requests for information about the”OLD TRANSFORMERS”
The OLD TRANSFORMERS are sited on a rocky outcrop,up on the Durham Moors, near Leadgate. The heads of two Industrial giants, an IRONMASTER,& a COAL MINER,they overlook the site of Consett Steelworks,once the largest steelworks in Europe. Steel was made here in unimaginable quantities, but little remains of this huge industry ,today
The sculptures were commissioned by Northern Arts & Sustrans in 1990 & sited along the old railway line, now Sustran Sea to Sea long distance Cyclepath. We built the sculptures( that,s Tom Leaper & I) in the old N.E.E.B .yard at Wallsend,from a yard filled with obsolete components that once powered the heavy industries of the NE, Coal Mining ,Steelmaking, & shipbuilding.
A Legend is Burnt into a thick Steel plate, nearby….. The Old Transformers. The men that lived near here, dug in the ground for the Black Stone. In their Giant huts, they Burnt the earth. They turned the Sky red. A river of steel ran to the sea,where it was transformed into the Engines, Ships, & Machines, that transformed the world. Further Eastwards along the track,past BEAMISH Industrial Museum, the head of KING COAL, stands on top of a derelict slag Heap,at PELTON FELL
Using masonry from a demolished Railway Bridge& lime Kiln,a 15 ton colliery fan Impeller, & six miners shovels,the sculpture was built on site,with the help of Sustran Volunteers,including a mason, ex miners & steelworkers.
King Coal was once a well known in the region. The sculpture was completed in 1992, co-incidently the date of the last pit closures in the Durham Coalfields.