Boatyard boss overflows with pride

Flow on it's journey from Amble to the Tyne.
Flow on it's journey from Amble to the Tyne.
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AN Amble boatyard boss has spoken of his pride after a unique piece of floating artwork, which was built in the town, completed its epic journey to Tyneside earlier this week.

Nick Spurr’s Amble Boat Company was commissioned to construct Flow – a tidemill which uses a waterwheel to power a range of unusual musical instruments.

The eye-catching structure now takes pride of place on the River Tyne, close to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, after being towed down from north Northumberland on Tuesday.

Nick, 52, said: “It is tremendous. We got a very warm welcome by the gathering of people who watched it come up the final stretch of the river. It was a nice welcome, with a round of applause. It was a nice moment.

“There were a number of emotions for me. I had tremendous pride for the business and the guys who built it.

“They have done a tremendous job with huge enthusiasm.”

He admits there was also ‘a sense of apprehension’ about the journey from Coquet to Tyne, which took around 10 hours to complete. Flow will open to the public from March 25 and Nick hopes that people in Amble will feel a sense of pride for the structure.

“It has raised a lot of interest and when we launched it, albeit early on Tuesday, there was a party of people in Amble gathering at the pier end to see it off,” he said.

Nick, who also runs Spurreli ice-cream parlour in Amble, has been asked to create a Flow-themed ice-cream, with the essence of a mill house, for a special preview event on March 21.

“We have come up with a salted caramel with toasted pine-nut flavour, which we hope will create some of the flavour of the project,” said Nick.

The project was one of 12 public art commissions funded by the UK Arts Councils for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, put forward as a collaboration between the Owl Project and Gateshead-based art and music producer Ed Carter.