Cycle Route Portrait Bench - Castleton, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 34.879 W 002° 10.655
30U E 554447 N 5937255
Quick Description: This portrait bench was erected as part of a national social history project that celebrates the uniqueness of each location.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/28/2015 11:27:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMPW4P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
The scheme is run by SUSTRANS, a charity that promotes cycling and walking routes throughout the UK as a method of sustainable transport.

"Sustrans' Portrait Bench series is a national social history project that celebrates the uniqueness of each location. Communities across the UK nominated local people for the contribution they have made to local life, culture or history to become the figures on their local Portrait Bench to be part of a collection of over 250 portraits.

What's a Portrait Bench?

The Portrait Bench is a simple bench accompanied by the three life-size characters chosen by the community. The figures are two dimensional siloquettes, cut from CorTen steel (like the famous Angel of the North) so they will weather to a fine rust surface and become a natural part of the landscape. link

This particular bench is situated on the tow path of the Rochdale Canal which is used by both cyclists and pedestrians.

This web page has much more detailed information... "The Portrait Bench is a new and unique National collection of local portraits. The figures are inspired and chosen for their individual contribution to the life of the community.

Creating portraits is an old custom ­ honouring individuals for their philanthropy, political prowess or acts of heroism, and most commonly for the love of family members. All major public spaces are graced by statues or portraits of eminent individuals and family photos are treasured across the world.

Each Portrait Bench is a collection of three distinctive, life­size local figures cut from sheet steel and installed by a simple bench, inviting you to sit or step up into the space and become a part of the portrait group.

The features of each character have been simplified while retaining their essential characteristics. The characters reflect those things that are important to the community; each is inspired by the local heritage, culture and aspirations of the area; some we’ll know and some we won’t…together they will represent around 230 characters chosen by thousands of people from across the UK.

Choosing the Rochdale portraits
Bike It schools in Rochdale borough were invited to choose from 11 notable local people, and also given a “wild card” entry for their own choice. Entrants had to say why their choice deserved to be immortalised in steel. Gracie Fields received by far the most votes, and wild card entries led to Lynne Coxell (Head teacher, St Edwards school) and Harriet Ellis (World Champion windsurfer) being chosen as the two other figures. Visible to passing trains, the bench is located between Castleton and Middleton along the Rochdale canal."

The three people that make up the sculpture are..

"Dame Gracie Fields O.B.E.
1898 - 1979

Gracie Fields was born over her Grandmother's chip shop on Molesworth Street, Rochdale on 9th January 1898. Gracie was to sing and clown her way to international stardom, eventually becoming the highest paid movie star in the world in the 1930s. Gracie began her career by coming joint first in a talent contest at the Rochdale Hippodrome. Her prize money was 10/6d (about 52p) which was at the time almost half the weekly wage of a mill worker.

By 1934 she had sold over 4 million records and had become the film career that was to take her to Hollywood and make her into an international superstar.

Lynne Coxell

When Lynne Coxell became head teacher at St. Edward's CE Primary School in 2005 she fully embraced the Eco school work the school had started. She motivated students to attend school by embedding sustainability into the ethos of the school. Lynne has also developed an urban farm which includes rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, pigs, hens and donkeys.

Pupils at St. Edwards love coming to school - attendance, attainment and behaviour have all improved. Many children cycle to school, and over 80 bikes can be parked at the school. In 2010 the school was one of the first in the country to receive the Eco School Ambassador Award. Lynne has inspired other schools throughout the country to adopt a similar approach to learning.

Harriet Ellis

Harriet Ellis was born in Rochdale in November 1992. At the age of 9 she started windsurfing at at Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre. Harriet first became involved in competitive windsurfing when she represented Hollingwoth Hunters in the Royal Yachting Association's regional team 15 event. In 2011, at age 18 she changed from sailing in the Olympic classes to sailing in the International Raceboard fleet. In September of the same year she competed in the World Championships in Spain where she entered in both Youth and Senior classes. After a week of gruelling competition Harriet became both Youth Women's World Champion and Women's World Champion. She now spends some time passing on her experience to younger sailors at Hollingworth Lake."
Title of Piece: Rochdale Portrait Branch

Artist: unknown

Material/Media: CorTen steel

Location (specific park, transit center, library, etc.): Towpath of Rochdale canal

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

Enjoy taking your photos from varying angles to really show off the beauty of the piece. Please include your impressions of the piece.

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