Rugby Industrial Heritage
Type Mural , Panel
Modelled in clay and then fired in the brick kilns at Art for Architecture's studios. The artists claimed that: 'we have designed the work with great sculptural detail to create a complex relief surface'.(1)
The design features a central motif of a piece of machinery with a steam engine and cooling towers on the left and a canal barge and bridge with radio masts on the right.
The industrial towers on the left represent cement works, one of Rugby's major industries. The train refers to the railway history of the town where there used to be locomotive testing station and several railway firms were based. The machine in the centre is a Williams steam turbine generator, built around the turn of the nineteenth century. The canal barge on the right is depicted emerging from bridge number nine on the Oxford canal, which was built around the town in 1773. The planes above are Gloster Meteor jets, as the designer of the jet engine Frank Whittle made his first prototype jet engines at the British Thomson Houston factory in Rugby. The radio masts in the background are those south of Rugby.
In 1999 Rugby Town Council decided to rebuild the public toilets at the North Street entrance to a public car park. The Council decided to install a relief panel facing North Street and commissioned John McKenna from Art for Architecture.
Before the installation of the brick relief, a temporary painting of the design was in situ on the building.
PMSA recording information