July 12, 2008

Local Sculptor Digs Deep for Colliery Links

A GIANT sculpture based on the legend of Robin Hood is planned to celebrate a Northumberland village's links to Nottingham.

The 39ft bronze statue has swapped his arrow for a pit shovel and his Lincoln green for a miner's helmet and pit boots for the installation, which is planned for the south entrance to Pegswood, near Morpeth.

He would stand on land once owned by Welbeck Estates, which manages land in Northumberland and Nottingham which once belonged to the Duke of Portland.

Charles Sample, agent for Welbeck Estates, based at Bothal Castle, a short distance from the roundabout, first came up with the idea for the sculpture, when the new bypass was built for Pegswood.

He said: "We used to own the land before the bypass was built on it and when I said to the county council that I thought roundabouts were boring they asked me to do something about it.

"I thought there should be something there that would celebrate the area's mining past and its links with Nottingham through Welbeck Estates. Its location would be at the gateway to the coalfield."

Morpeth sculptor Tom Maley came up with the design for Robin of Pegswood.

His design has a bronze figure standing near the top of a stainless steel girder. The girder juts from the ground at an angle and its tip is curved into the shape of a bow with the bronze figure firing a "shoveled" arrow from it. A mock-up of the statue is on show at the Pegswood Community Project building.

The project is still at an early stage and only after it has planning permission will the job of finding the funds to build it start. It is expected to cost between pounds 60,000 and pounds 70,000.

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