Coracle men of Ironbridge to be remembered with new statue
The coracle men of Ironbridge will be remembered with a new steel statue, if planning permission is granted.
The Ironbridge Coracle Trust has submitted plans for a laser cut sculpture in a flower bed next to the Severn Warehouse Museum of the Gorge in the Wharfage.
If plans are given the green light, the sculpture will be visible to people walking along the Wharfage foot path, or for those using the steps from the Wharfage to the river.
The sculpture will be paid for with money from a £333,000 grant from the National Lottery. If permission is granted, it will be built on land owned by the Ironbridge Museums Trust. The trust has given permission in principal.
The statue is based on a photograph of Tommy Rogers, who was born in 1843 and died in 1924.
He was one of the famous Rogers family, whose name is synonmous with coracles in the Gorge.
The coracle trust said: "Given the Severn Warehouse's current role as a museum/visitor centre the sculpture will enhance and highlight the building’s current purpose telling the story of the river as a means of transport and livelihood over more than 300 years.
"Siting the sculpture along one of the prime visitor routes as a key point of interest on the proposed Coracle Trail up to the Green Wood Centre will encourage visitors to explore and disperse around the World Heritage Site landscape.
"It will also encourage visitors to seek further information from the Visitor Information Centre within the building.
"The sculpture will enhance the long tradition of people walking along the Wharfage, stopping at this point to picnic, feed the ducks and admire the view of the Iron Bridge."
Money from the National Lottery will be used in a number of projects celebrating the history of coracling on the River Severn in Ironbridge.
The last coracle maker's shed in England, on the bank of the River Severn, will be saved thanks to the money. It will be stabilised, repaired and established as a visitor attraction.
Peep holes will be formed in the wall close to the public footpath which will allow visitors to look through and see images of life of a coracle maker using a Victorian stage lighting trick called The Pepper’s Ghost effect.
Cash will also be used on a programme of activities over three years and work on the trust's new building at the Greenwood Centre.
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