8th. December saw the official launch of the Hope Sculpture at Cuningar Loop, now part of Clyde Gateway. The sculpture, one of Glasgow’s official COP26 legacy projects, represents the figure of child calling for optimism about humanity’s response to the climate crisis. This art installation is one of a series of three placed at different locations across Glasgow.
The tall columns on which the statue sits, echo the form of the chimney stalks which were once a feature of the local industrial landscape. Nathalie Alexopoulos and sculptor Steuart Padwick, principals of the group responsible for the project, had asked us to provide details of the industrial history of Cuningar Loop, to give the sculpture some additional local context.
We were represented at the launch event by Heritage Society members Bob McDonald and Colin Findlay. Colin had provided details to the organisers about Cuningar Loop's industrial past.
Coal mining took place under what is now Cuningar Loop Woodland Park from the early 1800s until 1931. The six coal seams there formed part of Farme Colliery.
Glasgow has a well-known water supply from Loch Katrine, opened in 1859. A little known earlier supply was from a reservoir at Cuningar. This was possibly the earliest attempt to have a complete pumped municipal water supply anywhere in the world. The reservoir was connected across the bed of the river by four ingenious spherical jointed pipes, designed in 1810 by James Watt, to the pumping station on the north side.
In 2014 the Cuningar and Dalmarnock area was chosen to become one of two UK world leading research centres into the subsurface environment managed by the British Geological Survey. Boreholes have been drilled to study the underground geothermal energy. This could use heat recovery from the abandoned and flooded coal workings for heating homes and businesses. Renewal and regeneration are among the themes promoted in the Hope Sculpture project.
The information we provided will feature on an interpretation board to be placed at the entrance to the park..
Above, Bob McDonald pictured in front of the Hope Sculpture at the launch event. The wooden structure in the background is The Tur, a viewing platform which will offer visitors panoramic views of the park and surrounding area.
More photos below, featuring the Hope Sculpture's creator Steuart Padwick, and showing the statue pictured a few weeks earlier as it neared completion.
10th. December 2021