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Hetton Railway Bicentenary Sculpture

Funded on Spacehive 19 March 2021 Delivered 12 September 2022

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Hetton Railway Bicentenary Sculpture

Hetton Colliery Railway 200 By Hetton Colliery Railway 200

It is proposed to create a community structure to commemorate 200 years since the opening of the Hetton Railway, the intention is to create a sculpture using fabricated steel, coloured glass and light

Hetton-le-Hole Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 19 Mar 2021!

A simplified 3d steel frame will be fabricated, using drawings of the original engine, to provide a steel skeleton of the locomotive. Paper templates will be taken of the open faces and these will be used to cut 350 glass tiles. The tiles will then be taken to workshop sessions in schools of 2 to 2½ hours. Each session would comprise a brief history of the Hetton Colliery Railway and its international importance. Work will be carried out with participants to create their own glass panel inspired by the history, learning and key themes. Ceramic techniques will be used to fuse the glass, giving each panel texture. When all of the tiles have been completed they will be fired in a glass kiln to form larger panel sections, which will be fitted to the steel frame of the locomotive to form the body panels of the sculpture, which will have LED lighting fitted. The completed work, approximately 4.5 feet long by 3.5 feet high by 2 feet wide, will be displayed at the Hetton Centre.

What we'll deliver:

  • A legacy sculpture using fabricated steel, coloured glass and light
  • Students and parents will learn of the international importance of the Hetton Colliery Railway.

Why it's a great idea:

It will celebrate and commemorate the heritage of the Hetton Colliery Railway which, when it opened on the 18th of November 1822, was to be a landmark event of international importance in the development of railways. The railway ran from Hetton to the Staithes at Sunderland, the development of railways would follow at pace with the acclaimed Stockton to Darlington railway opening in 1825 and the Liverpool to Manchester in 1830. George Stephenson designed the Hetton Colliery Railway and it was built by his brother Robert. George would become known as the Father of Railways, this was the start of momentous changes leading to the Victorian rail building revolution, which changed the world.

Steps to get it done:

  • Securing a license to display the Sculpture from Sunderland City Council.
  • Awarding the contract for the creation of the Sculpture.
  • Agreement with schools to include workshops in their curriculum.
  • Construction of the steel skeleton.
  • Workshop sessions with schools.
  • Fusion of the glass panels.
  • Unveiling event.

Hetton Coal Company was not only important for its railway, it used ground-breaking technology to successfully sink a pit through permeable limestone for the first time and it was a forerunner of the Joint Stock Companies that dominated the railway age. The increased volumes of coal arriving at the River Wear led to the massive harbour and dock developments that transformed Sunderland’s riverside. Many famous names would become associated with Hetton, not least Thomas Hepburn a Hetton miner who became leader of the first miners’ union. The colliery became known as Lyons Colliery although the Lyons family who lived in Hetton Hall was not involved in the enterprise but did at onetime own the land. This family would marry into the Bowes family and become the ancestors of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who married H M King George VI. Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, is the great-great granddaughter of John Harrison a Hetton coal miner. Her son George is a future Monarch of the UK.


Location Hetton-le-Hole

About the space

Hetton Civil Parish


Sunderland City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £17,770

Contract for the Community Sculpture by Mark Burns Cassell - £16,000 (90%)
License to exhibit sculpture in the Hetton Centre - £480 (3%)
Insurance of the Sculpture for 5 years - £200 (1%)
Other - £1,090 (6%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Contract for the Community Sculpture by Mark Burns Cassell
License to exhibit sculpture in the Hetton Centre
Insurance of the Sculpture for 5 years
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees

Total £17,770

Our Volunteer List

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