A recently commissioned seat is proving to be shipshape in its new home at Richardson Dees Park.
Carved into the style of a ship, the seat remembers Wallsend’s famous shipbuilding industry, as well as a timetable of important dates throughout the history of the area.
Included on the seat are three carved panels which have a Roman influence, portray the industrial history of Wallsend and also touch on the 21st century with references to young people today.
The seat was the idea of a group of seven youngsters, aged between 13 and 20, who have been part of the South West Action Group (SWAG), North Tyneside Council’s Youth Council or have served as the borough’s Young Mayor.
The seat was originally commissioned by Isos Housing to be positioned outside its Diamond House development in the centre of Wallsend.
But it was decided that the artwork would be much better located in nearby Richardson Dees Park.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It’s wonderful that these young people are willing to give up their time to create such a beautiful piece of art for others to enjoy.
“The seat tells the story of the history of the area in the most perfect and creative way – and I know it will be extremely touching for local people visiting the park, remembering times gone by.
“It will also benefit the group’s peers and younger generations, helping them to learn about the shipbuilding industry as well as other important chapters in our borough’s history.
“I would like to thank the young people and those who have helped them in creating the seat.”
After coming up with the idea, the group of seven who all live in Wallsend began to develop the designs with local artist Neil Canavan, who worked on several pieces of artwork for Isos at Diamond House, alongside children from Richardson Dees Primary School.
Involved in the project was 18-year-old Rebecca Leighton, who said: “The seat is not only a place where people can rest, but it also tells the story of Wallsend.
“It will be interesting to those old and young and I think the new park is the best place for it as it will be appreciated by many people.
“The most enjoyable part of the project for me was seeing the first rough sketch of the seat. The carving panels were breathtaking and I could not in a million years have even imagined that they’d be so detailed and tell such an amazing story.”
Lewis Rimington, localism officer for Isos Housing, added: “All the artwork we commissioned in connection with Diamond House has proven really popular, and we’re sure this beautiful seat will be no exception.
“The young people from SWAG have worked really well with Neil Canavan, and we’re proud of what they’ve created.”