Art project celebrates Leigh's mining heritage

Art project celebrates Leigh’s mining heritage

They’re solid, short and sturdy – ideally suited for controlling road traffic and preventing ram raiding.

But here in Leigh, the humble bollard has been given a modern urban makeover!

Across the Leigh Neighbours project area, a number of these basic, functional but wholly unremarkable items of street furniture have been transformed into artistic installations as part of a community arts project inspired by old black and white photographs from the town’s archives.

Year 6 pupils from Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School created the designs taking their inspiration from history, including landscapes of old buildings such as Parsonage Colliery and scenes featuring the Pit Brow lasses.

Martyn Lucas is a local artist commissioned by Leigh Neighbours to deliver the workshop. He says: “The idea behind the bollard art project came from one of our craft club sessions where the children were asked to consider ways of improving neglected areas. They created a range of fantastic designs which we then reproduced on vinyl wraps and attached to the bollards. We’re used to seeing commercial advertising in all kinds of places, including around bollards, but it’s unusual for these rather unattractive features to become a concrete canvas for the purposes of displaying community art.”

Martyn adds: “It’s a good example of community intervention that involves local people and makes a visual statement on the local landscape. We hope our neighbourhood bollards convey a positive message about the area, inspire pride in our heritage and evoke delight in seeing art work by local children.”

A map highlighting where each of the art installations are located will shortly be made available on Leigh Neighbours’ social media pages.