“Jackfield Railway Gates Art and Craft Challenge” is launched by Small Woods Ass

“Jackfield Railway Gates Art and Craft Challenge” is launched by Small Woods Association and Telford & Wrekin Council

An open afternoon/evening has been planned to take place on the 2nd October between 4pm – 7pm at the Green Wood Centre to provide an opportunity to meet those who are working on the historic Jackfield railway gates, to get up close to the gates themselves and to hear a short presentation on the restoration process.

The timber from the gates is of little structural value, hence the need to replace them, however, there are some really interesting shapes and textures in the wood of the existing gates and they are interested to see what the art and craft community of the Gorge can make of them. Ian Baker at Small Woods said: “It would be nice if pieces of this version of the gates are able to live on as art pieces, benches, tables, turned bowls, etc. Ideally, each person entering the challenge would offer something back to the community, as the gates have been part of the Jackfield community for 150 years, it will be good to see them living on in some new form”.

Small Woods and the Council are looking for the challenge pieces to be returned for display at the point and of celebrating the return of the new gates which is planned for early 2019. Small Woods will contribute to this effort with a railway themed 4-winds bench along the lines of one currently being made by Neill Mapes, Heritage Craft Officer, and his group. This will also be on display on 2nd October.

Cllr Nicola Lowery, Borough Councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge spoke of her support on engaging the community: “The arts and craft challenge is a fantastic idea, as it will enable us to identify a creative, future use for the timber within the Gorge that the local community can contribute and engage with. From spending time with the team and material on exploring this idea, the timber has some very sculptural properties that could be transformed into pieces of art and potentially incorporated into a street furniture to be enjoyed within the Gorge.

“The crossing gates are an important part of our heritage and mean a lot to the local community. It is therefore wonderful to see the steps being taken to ensure the local community is involved in shaping this important project and I would like to thank everyone at Small Woods and officers at Telford & Wrekin Council for all their work to restore this piece of history in the Gorge”.

If anyone wishes to get involved with the event, or has questions, please contact communications@smallwoods.org.uk.

The Art and Craft Challenge will take place at the Green Wood Centre, Station Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford, TF8 7DR

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