Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Residents Vote to Do Locomotion in Their Town Centre; Planned Sculpture Will Emerge from Plinth

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Residents Vote to Do Locomotion in Their Town Centre; Planned Sculpture Will Emerge from Plinth

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BLACKBURN mike.blackburn@eveninggazette.co.uk

THIS is a model of the sculpture which is set to appear in Stockton amid clouds of steam.

The finalised work will be housed inside a plinth in the town - and emerge before passers-by at a given time each day.

It has been selected by residents as the piece of artwork with which to celebrate the rich history of the town.

It was one of three moving pieces of art - called automatons - put forward by Stockton Council to entertain and attract visitors as part of the multi-million-pound town centre regeneration.

It is not yet known how big the sculpture will be or how much it will cost. The money will be included in the town centre regeneration budget. It could be installed by the end of next year. The chosen mechanism will be concealed in a plinth, which will also serve as a platform for speeches and small performances. It will occasionally be used for the installation of temporary sculptures - similar to the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square.

Over the past two months, residents have been having their say on three designs placed on display in the Rediscover Stockton Shop in the High Street.

The designs were inspired by the birth of steam rail, the invention of the friction match and the history of Stockton as a port town.

Thousands of people visited the exhibition and expressed their preferences - and the Stockton Flyer polled the most votes.

The winning automaton design is a cartoon version of one of the earliest steam engines.

Rather than a model of any particular engine Stockton Council has asked the artist to use Locomotion No 1 as inspiration, as opposed to Stephenson's other engine Rocket.

Locomotion No 1 was the first train on the world's first modern passenger railway - the Stockton and Darlington - and arrived triumphantly in Stockton on September 27, 1825, with George Stephenson on the footplate. …

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