St Helens’ Anderson Monument awarded listed status

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One of St Helens best-known sculptures has been awarded Grade II-listed status by Historic England.

The Anderson Mining Monument was commissioned in 1964 by the National Coal Board and stands on the linkway roundabout near to the former site of the Ravenhead colliery.

It has been given the pretigious status in recognition of its aesthetic quality and the materials it is comprised it.

For the sculpture an actual industrial component was used, namely the steel cutting drum of an Anderton Shearer Loader, a cutter loader machine developed in the 1950s, which revolutionised long wall mining throughout the world.

The loader was pioneered at the former Ravenhead Colliery, near to where the monument has been sited since 1998 on the St Helens Linkway roundabout.

The loader was turned on its side to support a realistic bronze bust of a masculine mine worker holding a large lump of coal above head height, raised on a railway sleeper pedestal.

This combination of man and technology is an image deeply entrenched in the history and culture of St Helens as industrial mining town, and represents a process upon which the country’s industrial economy relied for much of the 20th Century.

The sculptor, Arthur Fleischmann, was an immigrant to the country. He was born in 1896 in Pressburg in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, later Bratislava in Czechoslovakia, now the capital of Slovakia.

He was one of a wave of European immigrants who made Britain their home after the Second World War, of whom a number became successful architects, artists or academics.

The Miner is one of a number of sculptures identified for consideration for listing as part of Historic England's project on public sculpture erected between 1945 and 1985.

Listing helps to mark a building or structure’s significance and celebrate its special architectural and historic interest, and brings specific protection so that its special interest can be properly considered in managing its future.

Coun John Fulham, cabinet member for Employment, Planning and Growth, said: “This magnificent sculpture has acted as a showpiece in the town centre for many years and tells the story of the town’s proud mining history perfectly. It really is fitting that it has been recognised in this way.”

Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England said: “Sculptures like The Miner or The Anderton Mining Monument were commissioned and created for everybody and have become a precious national collection of art which we can all share.

“They enrich our lives, bring art to everyone and deserve celebration. We have worked with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, Tate, and the Twentieth Century Society throughout this project to ensure our most special public art is protected and continues to enhance our public spaces.”