Statues - Hither & Thither
George StephensonWylam, Northumberland 1781 - Chesterfield 1848
British civil engineer and mechanical engineer during the Industrial Revolution; renowned as the 'Father of Railways'
Statue of George Stephenson. It is described by the Chesterfield Art Map as:
Whereas nineteenth-century statues of the railway pioneer erected in Newcastle, Liverpool and London used either classical garb or coat-and-trousers naturalism to depict an immobile, thoughtful figure, Hicklin uses a contemporary heightened realism to present him as a dynamic super-hero. Indeed, the statue's iconography is reminiscent of contemporary fantasy films, on which the artist has occasionally worked as a scenic sculptor. Stephenson's commanding pose echoes the splayed engineering compasses[?] in his right hand, while his left hand proffers a model of his early steam locomotive, Locomotion. He stands astride a wheel, modelled on those of Rocket, his later and more famous locomotive developed with his son Robert. The inscription on the wheel gives the engineer’s name and dates, and adapts a phrase from his modern biographer, L.T.C. Rolt: ' yet the conquests of man over space and time have followed the flying wheels of the Rocket as surely as night follows day '.Unveiled 28 October 2005 jointly by Borough Council Mayor Cllr Keith Falconer, County Councillor Walter Burrows and Rt Hon Paul Holmes M.P.
On the wheel:
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