Jubilee House Artworks

Jubilee House Artworks

During 1997, as the design of the building was being developed, it was decided that new artworks would be commissioned from the outset as an integral part of the building.

Lead artists Mick Thacker and Mark Renn were commissioned to generate ideas and devise plans for works within the building.  They brought together a team of artists to make the various pieces. A key objective was to involve the local community in the production of the pieces. The common theme that was chosen was “Time and passing Time” making reference to the history of the building and the surrounding area.

Weathervane:  (lead artists Mick Thacker & Mark Renn)

The artists noticed that the outline of Madeley Parish resembled a cockerel so, using what remained of the original vane, they produced the design that now sits proudly atop Jubilee House.

Clock: (lead artist Richard Schofield)

The clock is located on the back wall of the building facing Court street and the Fletcher Methodist Chapel.  It represents the area’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution in both material and human terms. The iron clock-face was cast locally and is set upon three Shropshire sandstone columns mounted with nine rusted discs. The iron and sandstone reflect local materials and the nine discs symbolise the death of the Nine Men of Madeley – actually three men and six boys, the youngest only twelve years old – who were killed in a mining accident in 1864 (find out more by clicking here). The interior glass door is sandblasted with a ‘ghost’ image of the clock but with binary digits replacing the 3, 6, 9 and 12 points. This indicates the changing nature of local industry.

Floor Mosaic (lead artist Ilona Bryan)

The motif for the floor mosaic illustrates a clock, showing the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
In the middle is a mirror which reflects the changing light from above. It was made by four local schools.

Reception Desk & Nut and Bolt Bench and Internal and external signage (lead artist Frank Triggs)

The artist used direct references to the former uses of the building and the decorative shapes in the architecture of the older frontage that was retained. The external signs were designed to reflect the existing architecture, with similar detailing on the internal signs. The ironwork was cast at Blists Hill foundry.

Suspended Glass and Steel Sculpture: (lead artist Mick Thacker & Mark Renn)

Called “In Time”, this artwork comprises of 117 glass objects, representative of the past history of the building. Each appears to be falling from a large pocket watch and the whole is intended to encapsulate the variety of uses to which the building has been put throughout time. Take a close look and you can see nuts and bolts, tools, toys and items of fruit and vegetables, forever falling, frozen in time.

The cast and forged glass-ware was produced at Edinburgh Crystal by Clare Phillips, whilst the steel fabrication was by Corley Welding, Birmingham.

Stair Panels (lead artist John Cocker, Sally Collins and Andrew Bengry-Howell)

Over three hundred people, from ten local groups, contributed to the images and text on the glass panels  which represent a ‘visual diary’ or time capsule of Madeley Parish, its people and their activities, at the time.

Textile Works (lead artist Amanda Goode)

There are six small textile pieces on the stairs wall that were inspired by the locality and its history. The large piece in the Marks Room features motifs inspired by previous uses of the building.

A number of other artwork pieces have been added as the result of community projects over the years.

Commemorative Panel 

Adjoining the lift is a commemorative panel designed and made by Year 9 students from the former Abraham Darby School in March 2001. It consists of twelve individual tiles depicting the 1864 local mine disaster and dedicated to all Shropshire miners and their families.

Material Matters Wall hanging (lead artist Penny Wells)

This wall-hanging is situated behind the lift, underneath the stairs. It was created by local pensioners helped by artist Penny Wells. It was to celebrate the Year of the Pensioner in 1993 and comprises different fabrics and stitch work that depicts local images, stories and reminiscences. It was donated for display at Jubilee House in 1993.

Community Quilt (lead Sue Smith)

The idea for a Madeley Community Quilt came from parish resident Sue Smith. With the help of the Living History Project, Sue involved 24 community groups and local organisations in the production of a quilt representing community activity in the parish in 2002.

Each group was asked to produce one 18 inch squared panel depicting details of their group, including the activities which take place and the place where they meet. Groups were asked to be as creative as they liked and to use a variety of media in the production of their panel.

The project began in January 2002 and was timed to conclude during Local History Week (4th-12th May 2002). Sue Smith and Pat Robinson were responsible for sewing the quilt panels together and thanks to their hard work, the finished quilt was unveiled at an evening event on 8th May 2002 in Jubilee house, Madeley. Over one hundred representatives from the twenty-four community groups involved attended the event. The Living History Project was officially launched at the same event.

The quilt was then displayed at Telford Town Centre on Saturday 11th May and then taken to groups who were unable to attend the evening event including Hills Lane Family Groups and Bennett House. An accompanying booklet detailing all the participating groups was produced.

Madeley Wood Company banner (lead Andy Rose)

The banner has been loaned to the Town Council by Margaret and David Perks who are the family members of the late Mrs. Gwen Heath of Madeley Wood.

Mrs Heath had worked as the housekeeper for the owner of the Golden Ball pub in Madeley Wood in the late 1940’s. During her employment, in appreciation for the extra help given, she was given the banner (along with a few other items of special interest to her) which she treasured and kept safely for over 40 years. The banner was originally made by Madeley Wood Company workers and we think used in processions.

The banner measures approximately 72” wide by 15 ½” tall and is made from a length of yellow plain weave cotton fabric.  The cotton fabric appears to have been calendered –i.e., it has been finished by being passed between two rollers under pressure. This process has imparted a smooth shiny surface onto both faces.  “SUCCESS TO THE MADELEY WOOD COMPY” has then been painted in black and orange on the smooth shiny face of the fabric. The banner was in fair condition, but had been folded and creased.  The smooth shiny surface has disappeared along the fold and crease lines and the paint has cracked and flaked away.

The family of Mrs Heath decided to offer the banner to the Town Council for public display.

The Town Council accepted the offer and allocated £1,000 towards its proper restoration and display.

The banner has been restored by a specialist textile conservator (Wendy Toulson). The banner was flattened and the creases and folds eased by means of gentle humidification of the fabric and weighting the fabric while the humidity returns to normal.

The banner was then framed to protect it from further deterioration by Ironbridge Fine Arts & Framing Limited.

The banner is on display in Jubilee House reception. It was unveiled by Mrs Perks on the 2nd June 2015.