Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Latest Idea for Stockton High Street

I went into the Discover Stockton shop on Monday to look at what is on offer - lots of interesting information about the area, the chance to buy souvenirs and postcards, someone to give advice on business start ups and enterprise ideas and point people in the right direction for proper detailed advice and most important perhaps, large scale plans of the proposals for the High St and surrounding area as its regeneration continues.
Now comes another reason to visit the premises (near the corner of Dovecot St and the High St):

PEOPLE visiting Stockton Town Centre are being asked for their views on a new suggestion to celebrate the Borough’s heritage within the newly designed High Street.

As part of the town's multi-million pound regeneration Stockton Council is considering installing a moving artwork, called an Automaton, to entertain and attract visitors.

Automata have been created by engineers and artists since ancient times and now one could feature on Stockton High Street.

Three design models for the playful moving artwork have been developed and are being trialled in the Rediscover Stockton Shop at 134 High Street.

Visitors and shoppers are being urged to pop in and drop a token in one of three big clear boxes to vote for their favourite.

The designs are based around a plinth which would spring into life to promote Stockton's heritage and rich industrial past at a set time, once or twice a day, in keeping with the town's growing reputation as a hub for arts and culture.
The three ideas all take reference from the achievements of George Stephenson and John Walker and are inspired by the mechanics and engineering of the shipyards and railways.

Among the designs are:

·    The Stockton Storybook – this design sees a giant fish emerge from the plinth.  The fish then opens up to reveal a series of "pop-up book" style images enhanced with light and sound to tell Stockton's story.  Mixing myth and history, the story unfolds like a giant magician's box to reveal a surprising sequence of tricks.

·    The Walker Clock – a steel plinth frame clad with sandstone panels displaying a panorama of buildings on the High Street is the basis for this design.  A clock surrounded by a moving steel ring showing eight scenes of industrial activity forms this automaton with a figure of John Walker, striking a match, rising above it.

·    The Stockton Flyer – the main focus of this design is the origins of the railways. A playful cartoon version of Stephenson's Locomotion No1 emerges from the plinth with gushing steam.  Flapping wings stretch out over the spectators as the train, made out of industrial scrap, rises.
The three automata designs will be exhibited within the Rediscover Stockton Shop between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Saturday until the end of December.

Once a favourite is identified the Council will then develop a programme to identify all costs, suitable locations, external funding as well as help and support from local engineering and manufacturing companies. The most popular design could be installed on the High Street towards the end of next year.

No comments: