Residents to shape public art celebrating Doncaster’s mining heritage

Doncaster residents are being asked to help shape a top quality piece of public art which celebrates the town’s proud mining heritage.

Pictured above: Nick Stopforth, Head of Libraries & Culture, former miner Tosh McDonald, Ros Jones Mayor of Doncaster, artist Laurence Edwards, former miner Dennis Nowell and Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Leisure & Culture

Doncaster Council has commissioned acclaimed artist Laurence Edwards to devise the artwork which represents each of Doncaster’s former mining communities and what mining meant to the whole borough.

It will be displayed in a prominent location in Doncaster town centre which is easily accessible to Doncaster residents.

A series of consultation events are being held in the coming weeks where people are invited to find out how Laurence plans to create the design.

At the public events, Laurence will talk people through how he works and his guiding vision. To help finalise the look and feel of the piece, Laurence will choose one person to represent each of the mining communities who he will meet again to have in-depth discussion about their memories and what mining meant to them. A wax mould of each of these individuals’ faces will also be created as part of the design process, which will then be cast in bronze to create a limited edition set.

The final design will be revealed in spring 2018 at a special exhibition.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said:

“This flagship piece will recognise what mining meant to communities right across the borough. It will celebrate our past but will look forward to the future by being a bold piece of art which complements our regeneration plans for Doncaster town centre helping to create a vibrant place to visit and explore. This will be great art for Doncaster for everyone to enjoy.”

Laurence Edwards, said:

“Miners and mining have fascinated me and the demise of coal mining in this country has been one of the defining narratives of my generation. I will be talking and working with people with experiences of mining in Doncaster, and the general public to develop ideas in a collaborative approach.”

Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, said:

"For decades mining was the lifeblood of many of our communities and we want to recognise that fact with a great piece of art which they can all call their own. Far from just remembering our past, the intention is to create art that captures the imagination of people and becomes another draw for people to visit Doncaster town centre."

Dennis Nowell, a former miner from Armthorpe, said:

“I was born in a mining village, my father was a miner, all my friends were miners and all my family were miners. We can’t let our heritage go; mining is why Doncaster is here and why Doncaster is what it is. Doncaster should have a statue to represent everyone throughout the borough.”

Another former miner, Tosh McDonald said:

“Doncaster is built on coal and rail and both are intrinsically linked. The first trains were powered by coal and as the rail industry developed they moved coal around to where it was needed. There was a big supply industry all linked to coal and communities were built around the mines with house building, sports clubs and brass bands all coming about because of the industry. Coal made Doncaster and we should recognise its impact with a statue.”

Residents are being encouraged to attend one of the consultation events taking place at:

  • Hatfields pub, DN7 6JH on Friday 10 November from 5-6pm
  • Armthorpe Community Centre, DN3 3AG on Friday 10 November from 7-8pm
  • Doncaster Trades Club, Frenchgate Centre on Saturday 11 November from 10-11am
  • Woodlands Park Club, DN6 7RA on Saturday 11 November from 1-2pm (note the venue change)
  • Denaby & Cadeby Miners Welfare Club, DN12 4AW on Saturday 11 November from 7-8pm

Further detail on the plans are available at:

More information on Laurence Edwards can be found at:

The intention is to crowdfund for the piece of art with more detail to be released in due course. Fabrication work will start once the funding is in place and the designs have been revealed. Installation would follow.


  • Category: Culture, leisure & tourism
Last updated: 09 November 2017 15:14:02