Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Dream.

We make our own pathways,
they disappear into serenity and sunlight.
For beneath this world lies another
filled with dreams and scattered memories,
the footsteps of our fathers.
What does a miner think and dream about as he descends to the mine 2343 feet underground? What are the dreams of a little girl when her eyes are closed?

When, after 85 years after providing work for thousands and producing millions of tons of coal Sutton Manor Colliery closed, many people felt it had lost its heart.
The closure drove some of the miners to write poetry and others to dream of a statue to represent the past.

Amazingly the first concept of the chosen artist, JaumePlensa, was rejected by the ex-miners on the basis that it was too representational of mining and the past.
Jaume then shared with them his original thoughts for the site which he had held back fearing it to be too controversial. 

From the former colliery a recreational area is created with walks and resting places and in the middle is ‘The Dream’, a 20 metre high, white dolomite, girls head with her eyes closed seemingly in a dream-like state. 

Here is our wisdom, etched in the Earth.
We remember and we come to glean
from metal shapes and rusted dreams,
from the scrap-heap of identity,
something new and strong and clean.

The statue is resting on a circular plinth bearing the inscription ‘Dream Sutton Manor’ which is inspired by the small circular tallies each miner carried as a means of identification.
The notion for this is very simple but profound and in the words of the artist ‘in our dreams, anything is possible’.

The outcome of this is a forward looking, beautiful, inspiring and contemplative space for generations to come.

Within the park my attention was drawn to a number of stone flames on which were inscribed citations and poetry referring to the mining history of the area.

Memories by Brian Salkeld (former miner)
Silent I stand and look around, the gentle slopes are green.
Deep within my mind I see where the coal mine once had been.
The years roll back I hear the sound of winding engine’s steam.
I see the pulleys turning on the headgear in my dream.

Flat cap men, oil lamps in hand, ride crouched in every cage.
From fourteen years to sixty-five, men of every age.
There are sons and fathers, granddads too, like sheep within a fold.
They spend their lives in darkness to dig for coal; black gold.

The pit means more to these brave men than just a place of strife.
This is their very being and mining is their life.
As if they are God’s chosen ones destined to bick and toil.
To turn the wheel of industry, from deep within the soil.

The times were hard but happy, the character shone through.
The mine is one big family, with disagreements few.
Accidents were commonplace, whenever a miner died,
The sorrow spread throughout the town and everybody cried.

Those days are gone and men forget the sacrifices made.
The debt we owe to each of them, as some their lives they laid.
Broken bones, shattered limbs, lungs solid with the dust.
As if the earth took its revenge for digging up its crust.

But as I sit hear some may say “thank God those days are gone”.
I say God bless the miners. I’m proud that I was one.
Let’s not forget them on these fields where children play and laugh.

Erect a monument to them. Enscribe an epitaph.
Beneath this ground toiled human worms, gave all they had to give.
                               To help to make this country great and improve the way we live. 

Older voices echo deep
in this world-within-a-world,
and in stone dust and darkness
we trace and retrace
the footsteps of our fathers.

Beneath us there's a labyrinth,
a tangle of forgotten pathways.
We walk alone in dreams
among the twisted, rusted shape,
that litter memory's lanes.

Millest mõtleb  ja unistab kivisöekaevur, kui ta laskub 700 meetri sügavusele maa-alusesse kaevandusse? Millest unistab väikene tüdruk, kui ta silmad suleb?

Kui 85 aastat miljoneid tonne kivisütt tootnud ja tuhandetele tööd andnud kaevandus suleti, tundsid paljud, et Sutton Manor on kaotanud oma südame. See pani mõned kaevurid luuletama, mõned unistama mälestusmärgist olnule. Huvitav fakt on, et kaevurid lükkasid tagasi Hispaania kunstniku Jaume Plensa esialgse kavandi, mis liiga otseselt viitas kaevandusele ja minevikule. Plensa pakkus välja uue variandi, mida ta esialgu oli liiga julgeks pidanud, nii sündis The Dream.  

Endisest kaevandusalast on saanud puhkeala, mille keskmes kõrgub  20 meetri kõrgune tüdruku pea, tema silmad on suletud, viibides näiliselt unenäomaal. Kuju toetub soklile, mis kannab märget "Dream Sutton Manor" inspireeritud väikest ümmargusest märgist, mida iga kaevandaja kandis isiku tuvastamiseks.  
Tulemus on kaunis, mõtisklev ja tulevikku-vaatav, inspireeriv ka tulevastele põlvedele.

Tähelepanu köitsid ka siin-seal maapinnast tõusvad”leegikesed”, kandmas endal tsitaate.

Ja eestlasena muidugi kandusid mõtted Eestimaa suletud kaevandustele.

Huvitaval kombel sattus meie külastus täpselt kuju avamise viiendale aastapäevale.


  1. Mõtisklusteks ja mõtete kogumiseks on halvemaid ja paremaid paiku. See paik kvalifitseerub tõenäoliselt nende paremate hulka!

  2. Kaunis idee ja kaunilt teostatud!