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The sculpture was commissioned to celebrate 50 years of active mining (the installation was delayed due to Covid). It is a replica of a bait bench and table (bait is a colloquial word for a workers' packed meal) located underground, where miners have lunch, and their morning meeting. The table is slightly higher than a normal table, and the seating is lower, so a miner can sit comfortably whilst wearing all his gear. It shows all equipment normally on the communications board – a telephone, with the phone numbers for the different tunnels written above, blast light, emergency button with a tannoy above. There is also a lunch bag, safety glasses and old notices, with the sticky tape peeling off. There is even a cup on the edge of the table.
The Boulby Miner
galvanised steel & laser cut stainless steel
H 90 x W 240 x D 100 cm;
Plinth: H 60 x W 100 x D (?) cm
commissioned by ICL Boulby
15th June 2021
at all times
on private land, but is accessible from the Cleveland Way; park in a layby or minor road and walk; access after dark may be difficult due to its location
information laser cut on the right-hand side of the map: “The Miners Bait Table” / 2020 / This table / was commissioned by ICL UK to celebrate the history of Boulby Mine. / The entire, sculptural bench was inspired by the very same ones used by the actual miners themselves deep underground! / The piece is also made in honour of the generations of miners that have worked or still work there today, with Boulby Mine being one of the largest employers in the area. / Boulby’s Underground Laboratory! / “It isn’t just about mining Polysulphate, potash and salt at ICL UK. Through the years ICL UK have sponsored, funded, and hosted a variety of PhD theses on topics such as ground surface deformation, stability and design of excavations, mining and microbial ecology. / ICL UK host the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council’s underground laboratory projects. / The 1,100 metres deep laboratory provides a special environment free of background radiation in which particular science projects benefit, including the search for Dark Matter”. / Communications Board / Every table underground has a “Communications Board”, on this board there are a few things normally present – / Phone / Tannoy / Lighting / Emergency Communications Box / Notice Posters. / You can see examples of these on the board at the end of this table! / Accreditations: / This table is a design collaboration between Boulby Mine and its creator “KV Artist Blacksmith”. / With thanks to the many individuals who decided upon and began the design process, as well as sourcing all the information provided. / The final plans of the design and production of the finished piece was carried out by local Artist Blacksmith – Katie Ventress of KV Artist Blacksmith. / www.icl-uk.uk / www.kvblacksmith.com / @kvblacksmith