National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Saltworkers

Summary

Type Sculpture , Statue , Fountain

     The sculpture depicts a family of saltworkers involved in the process of manufacturing salt. There are three figures, a man standing bare chested holds a salt rake over a tub of brine, his wife wearing a thin top tips a lump of salt out of a tub, and the child shapes the lumps of salt with a bat. The family form a 360 degree grouping. The water feature froths, within a trough, to replicate the a tank of boiling brine. Lumps of salt at the base of the sculpture dry out, and wait to be shaped. A barge waits alongside the boy, ready to collect the lumps of salt. At night the statue is lit by a light on the nearby library.
     The sculpture was commissioned as part of Droitwich Spa's Millennium commemorations, it was decided that the workers who produced the salt that the town is famous for should be acknowledged. Funding for the £20,000 sculpture was provided by Wychavon District Council under its Town Enhancement initiative. The Victoria Square site was chosen due to its busy and central location. A contract to commission the sculpture was signed with John McKenna on 13 January 1998. A shop unit within St. Andrews Square was converted into a sculptor's studio, work began on February 1998 on a clay sculpture. This arrangement gave the public a chance to view the sculpture as it progressed. As the sculpture incorporated water, technical advice was made available by Severn Trent Water, and the pipework for feature was constructed by Capital Controls Ltd.
     Droitwich Spa has a long history of a salt extraction industry.

Inscriptions

(on brass plaque at base) 'THE DROITWICH SPA TOWN COUNCIL GRATEFULLY/ ACKNOWLEDGES THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OF/ WYCHAVON DITRICT COUNCIL AND THE SKILL OF/ THE SCULPTOR. MR JOHN McKENNA A.R.B.S. IN/ PRODUCING THIS HERITAGE SCULPTURE AND THE/ CONSIDERABLE TECHNICAL HELP RECEIVED FROM SEVERN TRENT WATER LTD., CAPITAL CONTROLS LTD.,/ AND MIDLANDS ELECTRICITY PLC./ OCTOBER 1998' (on brass plaque on brick base) "SALTWORKER"

Contributor details

Contributor Role
McKenna, John Sculptor
Capital Controls Ltd, None Other
Severn Trent Water, None Other

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Figures Bronze 240cm high
Fountain None None
Plinth Brick None

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WOwyDRjh020 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • None
Vandalism
  • None
Road Victoria Square
Precise location Between Lloyd's Bank and Public Library
A-Z ref None
OS ref SO895635
Date of design 1997-98
Year of unveiling 1998
Unveiling details Thursday 29 October 1998, 2.00PM
Commissioned by Droitwich Town Council and Wychavon District Council
Duty of care Droitwich Spa Town Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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