Statue In Seaham, County Durham
A sculpture of three miners waiting to go down the pit. It’s a reminder of the three mines that Seaham once had.
When in Seaham, you may have seen this sculpture called The Brothers, but not necessarily stopped to look at it. Especially as it's at the side of a roundabout.
The setting of it is now a pleasant oasis of summer plants, a clock, and a map of the area in bronze. It is an interesting vista and in certain light is very striking.
Brian Brown created and designed The Brothers which was installed in 2011. It depicts three miners waiting for their shift to begin down the pit. They are more modern-day miners with their full PPE kit on.
It acts as a reminder of the three mines in the area which were, Dawden, Seaham and Vane Tempest.
It is also known as “Waitin' t' gan down” and some have called it The Leaning Post.
Certainly, the bottom plinth is wedged so as it would stop them leaning, eh!
Interestingly the chap who made the plinth Jon Quigley saw my post on Facebook and when I asked Jon a bit more about it he replied
“I'm very proud of this. I went a few years back and got pictures taken with my daughter. I love the fact my handy work is there on display as a part of a piece of art, not the important bit obviously! It is coloured concrete and was not overly complicated; Basically, I made a very strong wooden box to contain very wet and very heavy concrete, in place until it set, then just remove the box.
To make it resemble coal, all me and the artist did after I made the box was to use an axe to chop up random pieces of wood into various shapes; anything really, there was no right way to do it, then nail them to the face of the box in a way that we thought would best resemble coal seams, so when removed it leaves the indentations in the face of the concrete, then pour in the concrete, hope for the best, wait till the next day and remove the box.
The technical term is a wooden shutter, but it's basically a box with no lid, and that's it really. I'm pleased someone is doing something about this artwork as obviously Tommy is the famous one I spent a couple of days with the artist then it was transported into position"
On the inscription, there is the use of the local vernacular.
As a young man in the 1950s, Brian Brown worked down the pits at Silkworth. He would draw his fellow miners and the Colliery Manager suggested Brian went to art school, which he did.
He has an emotive piece called The Putter at Redhills, Durham Miners Hall which was completed in 1995. Brian is now in his 80s.
The Brothers was part of a 1.6 million pound fund provided by National Lottery Heritage to enhance the historic side of Seaham. Durham County Council and other partners were involved too.
Side on, the piece is very thin, only ¼” galvanised steel and one bears a safety lamp.
It's a lovely little sculpture and well worth a visit if you are passing.
How To Find The Brothers
Contributed by Rosalind Parker
Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.More Places from Rosalind
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