By George, It's Big; Tyneside Town May Get Back Train Sculpture

Article excerpt

Byline: RACHEL WEARMOUTH

A STRIKING metal sculpture of a historic locomotive - pulled down in the 1990s - could get a new home on a Tyneside roundabout.

Members of Killingworth Local History Society hope to restore the 25ft-long metal artwork of Blucher Locomotive in time for the bi-centenary in 2014 of the first run of George Stephenson's famous engine.

The structure was made in 1964 by North East sculptor Charles Sansbury as a tribute to the pioneering civil engineer who lived and worked for a time in Killingworth, Newcastle, as a pit brakesman.

Known locally as The Killingworth Engine, it was placed above the entrance to the town's pool and community building.

When that was bulldozed in 1994 to make way for a shopping development, the sculpture was taken down and chopped in half for easy storage.

Now, the society hopes to resurrect the fractured artwork, kept at Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields, and give it pride of place at the Southgate roundabout near the town.

Sheila Martin, secretary, said the idea has built up a head of steam with residents and the society's 60-strong membership.

They have been campaigning to make the project a reality alongside the Stephenson Trust and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

She said: "Even if it takes a year or two it would be lovely to think the sculpture would be on the agenda and put back. …