A sculpture to celebrate the working people and the industrial heritage of Barrow is to be unveiled on Redmanís Way, a path once used by steelworkers and now a recreational route. Councillor Alf Horne, a member of Cumbria County Councilís local area committee for Barrow, who was instrumental in the development of Redmanís Way, will perform the ceremony at 1.30pm on Friday June 27.
Councillor Horne said:
ďThis is the first statue to celebrate the working people of Barrow and district. Many of them in the past risked their lives in the mines and workplaces to make the town what it is now - a good place to be. The route is very well used by local people and by placing the sculpture in this location we hope to recreate what the sculpture is all about -- miners and steelworkers returning home from work, covered in red ore dust. We hope that the sculpture will draw attention to this recreational route and encourage visitors to explore further the industrial heritage of Barrow at the Dock Museum. Barrow continues to see huge changes and redevelopment in the Bessemer Way area, this sculpture is on a human scale and it provides a place to pause for reflection.Ē
The sculpture, situated at the start of Redmanís Way, off Bessemer Way, is by West Cumbrian artist Colin Telfer. It depicts two lifesize figures of mine workers returning home from work. Each figure weighs about 30 stone and has been cast using a resin and iron ore mix. They stand on a plinth of St Bees sandstone.
The wealth of Barrow was based on the rich haematite mines of Furness - at Lindal, Swarthmoor, Askam, Park, Dalton, Newton, Stank and Roanhead. Because of the colour of the iron ore, the miners were known as the red men. The sculpture will mark the beginning of the Redmanís Way, a path once trodden by steel workers and now widely used for leisure activity by walkers, runners and cyclists. The walkway runs the length of the slag bank site. The original name of the steel works in this area was Hindpool Iron and Steelworks. In the 1870s this was the biggest Bessemer steel production plant in the world and employed over five thousand men.
A joint working group of councillors assisted with the selection of the site for the artwork and many local people have helped the artist by providing information about mining and steel working in Barrow.