Views sought on artwork to reflect on the impact of pandemic in North Tyneside
Now there is an opportunity to create unique spaces of reflection and collective commemoration.
North Tyneside Council is planning to create lasting, physical memorial areas allowing for pause and reflection in five locations linked with the borough’s 30-mile wagonway network.
Once used to haul coal to ships on the River Tyne from dozens of coal mines in the borough, the historic wagonways date back to the 19th century.
The routes help connect the borough with a central point at Silverlink Biodiversity Park, where one of the reflection areas will be situated.
All the reflection areas will be based around the theme of a compass, detailed in decorative hard landscaped paving, with seating provided and natural planting.
The compass design has been selected as the word compass combines two Latin words – ‘com’ which means together and ‘passus’ which means pace or step.
A design relevant to each additional location in the borough will feature in centre of the compass and residents are being asked to choose their preferred creatives.
Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: “We know that the pandemic is not over, but we also know that our communities want to commemorate and remember those we have lost and reflect on our shared experiences.
“As well as those who have sadly passed away from the virus, many people have suffered loss in different ways.
"This has included loss of employment, loss of the contact with love ones or a sense of loss of a certain way of life.
"However, community spirit has shone through – I am immensely proud of the strength and determination that has been shown across all of North Tyneside.
“The pandemic saw more people than ever get outside to walk and cycle so places linked with the wagonways seems a natural location for the areas of reflection.
"The designs will provide areas for quiet reflection, to show our incredible community strength by reconnecting our residents to our borough and will be a lasting reminder of the struggles we all overcame.
“We’d really like residents to tell us what they think should be in the centre of each compass and I’d encourage everyone to provide their views.”
Options for the centre of the compass include either a locomotive or mining for the North West, a lighthouse or the Dome for the North East, Segedunum or shipbuilding for the South West, and fishing or the Priory for the South East.
A sun will be featured on the compass in the Silverlink Biodiversity Park to compliment the sundial theme.
The locations for the areas of reflection include, Kliingworth Lakeside Park, Churchill Playing Fields, Wallsend Hall grounds and Redburn Dene Park, as well as Silverlink Biodiversity Park.
For more visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk or Customer First Centres. The survey will be open until January 14.
The designs will be available to review in Customer First Centres –
November 29 to December 4, Whitley Bay;
December 6 to 11, Wallsend;
January 4 to 8, North Shields;
January 10 to 14, White Swan.