Towering sculpture takes pride of place in square

Designer Michael Johnson with the new sculpture called "Danum", which has been placed into Sir Nigel Gresley Square. Picture: Andrew Roe
Designer Michael Johnson with the new sculpture called "Danum", which has been placed into Sir Nigel Gresley Square. Picture: Andrew Roe

AN eight metre tall depiction of Doncaster has taken pride of place at the centre of the town’s new public square.

A crowd gathered in Sir Nigel Gresley Square - named by Free Press readers - to see the five tonne steel and bronze tower lifted into place by crane, ahead of the square’s official opening on Sunday as part of Doncaster’s Jubilee celebrations.

Workers lift the new sculpture called "Danum", as it is placed into Sir Nigel Gresley Square. Picture: Andrew Roe

Workers lift the new sculpture called "Danum", as it is placed into Sir Nigel Gresley Square. Picture: Andrew Roe

The sculpture, called Danum, is the work of artist Michael Johnson. He worked with more than 100 children to create images representing the town’s rivers and canals, Roman origins, sports clubs, and its railway and mining heritage. Doncaster’s markets and racecourse also feature.

Mr Johnson, said: “My brief was simple - something fitting to this square.

“Having looked at the square it had to be something that captured the whole spirit of Doncaster.

“Like many towns and cities the period between 1740 and 1940 was an age of great growth in Doncaster and many of the people who helped that get forgotten in history.

The cast bronze and stainless steel sculpture which cost £60,000 took 16 weeks to construct after a four month design and consultation period.

Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “It is fitting that this piece of art has been designed to showcase what is great about Doncaster.

“It will be a focal point of the Sir Nigel Gresley Square and I am sure this imposing sculpture will become a town centre attraction in its own right.

”I am proud that many of our young people, elderly residents and people with disabilities have played their part and helped shape this iconic landmark.”

But people who saw the sculpture being erected had mixed feelings over the new piece of art.

Donald Robertson, 70, of Elmfield Road, Hyde Park, said: “I think it could be a target for metal thieves, and they could have spent the money on other things that would benefit more people.”

But student Katherine Cronin from Rossington said she thought the statue could become a nice place for people to gather round and have their lunch in the sunshine.