A renowned firm of artistic metalworkers has called on the services of Manchester Galvanizing Ltd to assist in the creation of a series of mining memorial sculptures.
Cumbria-based CB Arts were commissioned by artist and memorial designer Stephen Broadbent to create the larger than life-size statues as part of the Walking Together project at Markham Vale in Derbyshire.
The memorial commemorates 106 miners who lost their lives in three tragedies at the Markham Colliery in 1937, 1938 and 1973.
More than 70 statues have so far been commemorated. The design depicts miners ‘Walking Together’ to and from the pit – figures walking towards the mine are galvanized and those that are walking away are galvanized and patinated to appear darker in finish - reflecting a day’s work down the mine.
Cathy Burrows, who oversees new projects at CB Arts, said being involved in the project was a “huge honour”.
“We are really proud to be part of the wider team delivering the Walking Together project – each figure represents a life lost so when the fabrication process is underway it really makes the craftsmen think about the person behind the sculpture – it’s really quite moving,” she added.
Each 2m tall steel statue features a hand-crafted, bronze commemorative tag featuring the miner’s name, age, job role, and in which disaster they lost their life.
To date 77 of the 106 men who died have been commemorated and family, business and community fundraising continues for the remaining figures.
Cathy explained that just as CB Arts were the fabricator of choice for artist Stephen, the metalworkers had worked with Manchester Galvanizing for several years.
“We have a longstanding relationship with Manchester Galvanizing. We do send some quite unusual pieces to them. Often we send photographs of the design first and they will then work out the very best way to galvanize the piece whether that be a bridge, sculpture or other large scale structure.”
Mark Waters, Sales Manager at Manchester Galvanizing, said the project had been one of the most unusual the plant had been involved in.
He added: “We do get some really interesting pieces coming through the plant but the Walking Together project has been truly fascinating. To play a part in such a moving tribute to the miners who lost their lives has been very special and to know that their memories will live on in the life size sculptures is very rewarding for us.”
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd