Buoys will be buoys – and works of art too

The buoys being lowered onto a vehicle to be transported to AM Fabrications in Blaydon.

The buoys being lowered onto a vehicle to be transported to AM Fabrications in Blaydon.

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WORK is now under way on turning three old buoys into works of art.

The former marine buoys are to be transformed into public artworks featuring historic railway poster-style images and sited near the Tyne Tunnel’s northbound exit at Howdon.

They had been in storage at the Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields but have now been transported to AM Fabrications in Blaydon to have storage cradles fitted to enable them to stand upright.

Once the cradles are in place, they will be taken to Northern Protective Coatings in Bill Quay, Gateshead, to be shot-blasted, primed and base-coated.

Jarrow artist Lynda Nelson will then hand-paint images of St Mary’s Lighthouse, Tynemouth Priory and a surfer on them.

The £15,000 bill for the project is being picked up by North Tyneside Council and Tyne Tunnel operator TT2.

Lynda, 31, said: “It was great to see the buoys being taken on the first step of their journey.

“Now it feels like the project is definitely under way, and I’m really looking forward to painting my artwork on them.”

The northbound tunnel is currently undergoing a major transformation to bring it up to the same standard as the new road tunnel.

Lynda’s designs were chosen after artists nationwide were invited to submit bids for the work, with seven being shortlisted.