Designs, derived from the imagery of electronic circuit boards, have been sand blasted into the walls and paving at the entrances to the metro station. They use the language of sculpture to convey the complex sensations of living in a digital culture, itself dependent on circuits, and surface networks such as the Metro itself, activated by information and people.
Walk down Bewick Street toward Central Station and the street panel is on the left hand side. Even with such precise directions it is surprisingly easy to miss! How many people have a type of Swan named after them and are commemorated with a Bull!
Just to the north of the Cathedral stands a bronze statue of Queen Victoria erected to commemorate 500 years of the Shrievalty (the jurisdiction of a sheriff) of Newcastle. Sculpted by Alfred Gilbert and unveiled in 1903, two years after Queen Victoria’s death, the statue was a gift from W H Stephenson, a company director and politician who held the office of Mayor of Newcastle seven times.
The Queen has her back neither to the Cathedral nor to the Town Hall which once sat on the other side of Cathedral Square.
The 9ft bronze sculpture, which shows Sir Bobby with hands tucked in his suit pockets and one foot on a football. Morpeth artist Tom Maley worked closely with Sir Bobby’s family on the design for the statue for over a year before it was cast by Black Isle Bronze foundry in Scotland. Sir Bobby’s demeanour is captured in the way he is standing, a very real likeness of how he looked.
The Bobby Robson Garden contains five marble slabs engraved with biographical details of many of the clubs and players that Sir Bobby worked with in a long illustrious career as player and manager.
This fine bronze statue stands in Westgate Road, outside Cross House, Sir Joseph Cowan was M.P. for Newcastle from 1874-1886
There are 1000 of these waymarkers distributed on cycle paths throughout the UK. Those with the energy to follow cycle route 72 to Tynemouth, may discover another four along the way, all in different colours and designs
Parsons Polygon’ is primarily a ventilation shaft for the Metro station below and is clad with moulded terracotta tiles made from the same clay used for Eldon Square’s bricks.
The artist used the commission as an opportunity to provide a monument to Sir Charles Parsons (1854-1931) the creator of Turbinia, a steam turbine powered vessel which achieved 35 knots. The designs pressed into the clay are abstracted from Parsons’ engineering drawings creating a work which David Hamilton saw, ‘not as a statue of the man, but a symbol of his stature amongst engineers and the world at large’.
The map is a conceptual representation of the area of Newcastle known as Grainger Town. It is deliberately sited at the western entrance to the area, close to Central Station. The buildings and landmarks are reduced to their essential forms, so locals will be able to work out which is which and visitors will recognise them as they travel through the city.
On May 7th 2002, crowds gathered in Grainger Town to cheer and wave Union Jacks. The Queen climbed the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle to officially unveil the memorial sculpture of Cardinal Hume, one of the city’s favourite sons. The 3m high bronze sculpture portrays Cardinal Hume, dressed in his Benedictine habit.
Cardinal Basil Hume was born in Newcastle, he was the Ninth Archbishop of Westminster and a Benedictine Monk. The sculpture stands on a flat stone plinth in the shape of the Northumbrian Island of Lindisfarne.
Simon Watkinson has designed a lighting scheme, which illuminates a PVC canopy contained within the portico of the theatre. The canopy is visible up and down Grey Street attracting the eye to the magnificent façade of the building. With the addition of form and colour the lighting is a subtle addition to a classical structure.
A depiction of the great man in the act of kicking a ball. The work has had a chequered history with several thefts of the ball leading to relocation to its current position. When it was moved another statue of Jackie was occupying the site close by St James’ Park. Wor Jackie represents an early example of the growing fashion for monuments to great footballers throughout the UK.
The artwork developed out of a direct response to the architecture of Grainger Street drawing specifically from the architectural features found on the facades of the buildings that so often go unnoticed by people at ground level. Subtle, granite floor carvings mimic and reflect the ornate features of four buildings on Grainger Street. The work is placed directly at the entrance to the buildings acting as a ‘welcome mat’ for that property.
The Rutherford Memorial, possibly the most ironic monument in Newcastle, it commemorates John Hunter Rutherford, a Scottish doctor and educational reformer of the mid 1800s, and a strong advocate of temperance. Today the area is a playground for revellers, young and old, drawn by the sheer weight of pubs, and the inscription on the monument – ‘water is best’ – is unlikely to challenge their belief that ‘Bacardi Breezer is best’. Erected by the Band of Hope Union in memory of J.H. Rutherford, Presbyterian minister and Temperance campaigner. Sandstone steps, red sandstone fountain with pink granite basin. ’Water is Best’ ironic, perhaps in this long established popular drinking location.
Look above the Pop World pub and you can see the small white crescent moons which are a reminder of its past as an old coaching inn. Other notable features of the area include the wonderful tiling of the Beehive pub (spot the bees!); the Old George pub (walk down the alley and notice the building opposite which was once a stable. The pub has been in existence since 1690); and Balmbras (now a brash 80s fun pub, but in the 19th century where the Geordie anthem. “The Blaydon Races”, was first sung).