Sculptures recall South Yorkshire mining community’s rich past

Sculptures installed at Kiveton by artist Adam Reynolds
Sculptures installed at Kiveton by artist Adam Reynolds

A FIVE-year project to create artworks celebrating the people and heritage of a South Yorkshire mining village is to be completed next week.

Professional artist Adam Reynolds has worked with residents of Kiveton since 2007 to produce sculptures of local people and the ponies which used to work down the pit – which are being formally unveiled on Wednesday.

Adam has been working on the Desire estate, where he asked for help from schools, young people, businesses the church and mums’ groups. He asked local people to describe ‘what makes Kiveton smile’.

The collected quotes were incorporated into the three sculptures on the estate’s streets, Lambrell Avenue and Stockwell Avenue.

“They are made from steel and show outlines of local people,” Adam said.

Adam ran further workshops to create a final work, commemorating pit ponies who worked in the local colliery, which shut in 1994.

The idea came from a local resident and the work is now being installed on the Kiveton Community Woodland, above the former pit and looking down on the fields where, for a brief holiday each year, ponies ate fresh grass and breathed fresh air. The work is called Dreaming of Sky.

Adam said: “There is a single pony, made from cast iron, pulling a pit tub.”

He added: “It has been a pleasure to work with the people of Kiveton and their ideas of what made them smile.

“I really enjoyed creating the work about the pit ponies – their contribution and the hardship they endured is often forgotten but they were much loved by the miners who worked with them.”

■ The three sculptures on the housing estate will be unveiled at 6pm and the pit pony sculpture at 7.30pm.