PHOTOGRAPHS of women working in Wearside shipyards are needed to be part of the centrepiece of Sunderland’s new square.
The Propeller of the City artwork will form the focal point of the square, which is being built between St Mary’s Way and the River Wear.
The development is part of the regeneration of the former Vaux brewery site.
Hundreds of photographs of Sunderland’s shipyard workers will be included in the glass sculpture.
Artist Stephen Broadbent has been overwhelmed with the response as Wearsiders have submitted hundreds of photographs. However, so far only six of them feature women.
Three of them come from the Echo’s own archives and Stephen and project manager Mandy Taylor are hoping that seeing the pictures will encourage people to dig out their family albums.
He said: “This important new public space looks to the river, and speaks proudly of all that has been achieved in the Wear shipyards. I hope it will stir the imagination of residents and visitors to see afresh a remarkable story, and rightly honour the Sunderland shipyard workers and their families.
“I look forward to receiving the photographs and hearing all the stories of the families connected with them.” Mandy added: “We could certainly do with more images of women working in the ship yards, but also we would like more photos of workers in general – men or women.”
The giant propeller will feature a 3.5m circle of steel and bronze, containing a bearing.
Within this metal rim sit laminated discs of glass, which will have a large propeller design carved onto both faces. The bearing allows the entire glass section to be turned freely by hand, whilst being geared to limit speed of rotation. LEDs set into the metal rim illuminate the glass at night.
An interlayer within the glass carries old photos of hundreds of shipyard workers, together with their names and details. Turning the glass disc makes the propeller move and also allows people to search the portraits.
To contribute, contact Living History North East at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 565 4835.
Stephen Broadbent can be contacted at email@example.com or call 01829 782 822.