Local apprentices have designed and created a unique archway for a landmark Newcastle site.
Commissioned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and under the guidance of local sculptor Andy Edwards, apprentices from local engineering firm IAE installed the 3m high galvanised steel archway, featuring a crown at its peak, at the entrance to Queens Gardens.
(Pictured apprentices from IAE Tom and Jack with the archway installation.)
The installation is the latest in a series of public works celebrating the 850th anniversary of the Borough being granted a Royal Charter, commemorating the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and celebrating the town’s successful connection with Britain in Bloom.
Craig Skelding, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “The archway is the latest of a series of public artworks celebrating our 850th anniversary.
“We’re aware that a decorative arch, topped with a crown, framed the entrance to Queens Gardens in the 1960s and we wanted to recreate that.
“The final result is excellent and a credit to the apprentices at IAE.”
The arch’s crown is a twice full size representation of the St Edward Crown traditionally used in Coronations and the crown and its jewels are fabricated in flowers and fauna typically found in North Staffordshire.
Chris Morris, Learning and Development Manager at IAE, said: “This was a wonderful project to be involved with. It gave our apprentices the chance to show off their skills for a real life project and also delivered a fantastic sculpture for the town.
“As a company it’s great to be able to give something back to the local community and we hope that the people of Newcastle enjoy seeing the structure as they walk through the gardens. I’m sure it’s something the apprentices will remember for the rest of their lives too and we’re immensely proud of what they’ve achieved.”
The project was supported by Derek Mawby Paving Ltd and Newcastle South LAP.
As well as the archway, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has commissioned the retiling of a near subway with a unique decoration featuring images of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II intertwined with the 850th anniversary logo, and is seeking to erect a statue of Queen Elizabeth II in Queens Gardens.
Cllr Craig Skelding added: “This year is a special year for Newcastle and we wanted to mark the 850 th anniversary and commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth. At the same time, Queens Gardens is a centrepiece for our Britain in Bloom efforts over many successful years and we wanted the archway to reflect the community’s long- standing success and commitment to the competition by incorporating local flowers into the design.”