Witness, 1997

Witness, 1997

The text for this cast iron bridge parapet in Church Street, Bilston, was freely composed to create a new narrative, using tape recordings from an oral history project conducted by Helen Sykes. The interviewees looked back at the local steel industry which came to an end in the 1980’s, crippling the community and ending a way of life. The work was commissioned by Wolverhampton MB. A plaque at the bridge acknowledges the source of the text:

WITNESS BETTINA FURNEE 1997 BRIDGE PARAPET IN CAST IRON THE WORDING IS COMPOSED FROM VERBATIM EXTRACTS OF STORIES OF BILSTON LIFE AS TOLD BY ARTHUR BULLOCK, STEELWORKER, JOSEPHINE BEECHER, MIDWIFE, LILA LANGFORD, WHO WORKED AT SANKEY’S AND IN LOCAL PUBS, JIM SPEAKMAN, CHEMICAL WORKER, EILEEN MORGAN, SHOP WORKER, AND IRENE EVERITT, SHOP AND FACTORY WORKER

1 Bilston full view

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