The team at Hull-based Humber Galvanizing Ltd has helped protect the long-term future of an iconic sculpture created to mark the 50th anniversary of a local mineral mine.
Boulby Mine, situated near Staithes, North Yorkshire, is the UK’s deepest working mine and was the first in the world to undertake the commercial production of polyhalite – a rare mineral commonly used as fertiliser. To mark its half a century, owners of the mine (ICL Boulby), commissioned artist Katie Ventress to produce a commemorative bench to showcase life underground.
A replica of the ‘Bait Tables’ that are located at the bottom of the mine and where the miners sit to have lunch and conduct meetings, the artwork comes complete with a ‘communications board’ featuring tannoy, phone, and light plus a full-size figure of a modern-day miner.
The table-top itself is produced from a sheet of laser cut stainless-steel incorporating information about the mine, as well as detailed map of the underground tunnels.
The elaborate picnic-style bench took just over three months to produce, after which it was sent to the team at Humber Galvanizing, part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, for processing. After being galvanized to protect it from the outside elements, the artist then used acid etching to create striking highlight effects.
Sculptor Katie Ventress said: “It was such an honour to have been asked to produce this piece of work to mark such a special occasion. Boulby Mine is one of the largest employers in the area, and it’s amazing to be able to offer just a glimpse of what daily life is like for the workers underground in this way, and to give their families and members of the wider public a unique place to sit and reflect.
“I am immensely proud of this creation which is why I was so eager to ensure that it would be enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the area for many, many years to come. I’ve used Humber Galvanizing on numerous occasions previously and knew they’d do a fantastic job – which they absolutely have.”
The final piece will be sited a few hundred yards from the mine itself just off the Cleveland Way public footpath.
Tony Linsley, Sales Manager at Humber Galvanizing, commented: “The sculpture Katie created for the Boulby Mine is an absolute work of art and a fitting tribute to all the mine’s workers – past, present and future. We’re delighted to have been asked to galvanize this magnificent sculpture and ensure that it remains as good as new for the next 50 years.”
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd.
Photo Credit: Rick Hilley