The final install

We had an early start on Wednesday, negotiating the roads from Nottingham to Manton to deliver the sculpture on site. Big thanks to Dan for his support and to Phil for his amazing JCB skills. There have been a few delays along the way, but it’s finally up! We left at midday with the silver flower wheel sparkling in the sunshine….



Design Revealed!

We can now reveal the design for the gateway sculpture…
In our original plans we were hoping to install the sculpture this summer. Due to responses from  local people it was decided that more direct representation of the site’s mining heritage needed to be included within the design. The schedule was therefore put back to allow time to do this.
We now have a new design – inspired by the site’s pit history, the site’s nature we explored with the schools and links with today’s local industries:
 – using the shape of the pit head to create the structure,
 – using nature from the site to inspire the design cut out design for the legs,
–  using Pandrol’s railway clips, Brunton Shaw’s wire rope and Manton Pit tally tags to make the flower head.
Design options for the legs…


Design options for the flower head…


…and here’s a mock up of the sculpture on site

Manton Pit Woods Gateway Mock Up 2

Last week the designs were shared with the community groups involved, and we’re now moving forward with construction. We hope to be installing the sculpture in the Autumn – we’ll keep you posted!

Tally Tags

The CSL Friday Morning Coffee Group in Manton suggested how we could make links to the site’s heritage as a coal mine, including Tally Tags or Tallies or Motties. These small brass tokens were used as a safety check to identify which miners were underground. A miner would hand in his Tally in return for his lamp and equipment, before heading down into the shaft.

Amazingly I found these genuine Manton Pit Tallies on Ebay and got my bid in, and they’ve now arrived! Each one has got their miner’s personal number engraved on the back.

Now thinking about how we can use these within the design…


Mapping the colours of the woods

With the help of Dulux paint charts the we were also able to exactly map the variety of colours in the woods during the group site visits.  We brought the colours back to the workshop to feed into ideas for the design.

We found that a worm was the same colour as Dulux Summer Surprise 6; the yellow gorse was Delhi Bazaar 4; an orange stone was Volcanic Splash 4, and the grey of the wind turbine matched with Mellow Heather 6….



Over the last 3 weeks we’ve been working with different local groups to explore the site together, collect samples and begin using them as inspiration for the gateway design – click on the workshops tag above to see what we’ve been up to…


Sourcing local materials

Ideas for the gateway are emerging… we’re keen to create a design that’s inspired by the site itself – its geology and wildlife, but made from materials sourced locally from industry.

Ian’s been contacting local manufacturers in the Manton and Worksop area to see what we can use.

We met with Craig at Brunton Shaw’s wire rope factory on Sandy Lane in Worksop.

He showed us round the huge factory where they twist and stretch the metal into vast lengths of rope, and gave us some samples…


Next we visited Pandrol on Gateford Road in Worksop.

They make sprung steel clips for the railways, fastening the tracks to the sleepers, and saw the process of how they took steel bars, melted them in a burning furnace and then twisted into the bendy clip shapes with orange robots…


We’re off to Thoresby Estate wood yard next week for some oak …


Welcome to the Manton Pit Woods Community Gateway Project online.

As part of the redevelopment of the area artists Jo Wheeler and Ian Jones are working with community groups to design a welcome gateway for the woods.

The gateway will be installed by the new car park at the end of June, with a community celebration to mark the event.

You can follow the project’s developments here – we’ll be posting images and updates on our progress, and hope that you’ll contribute by sharing your comments, photos and stories too.

The project is funded by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme to develop the woods as a great green space for everyone.