Gormley Gets a Lift

Antony Gormley’s first public work, a 9 tonne granite boulder and a bronze cast of it, (which sits alongside), has overlooked Singleton Lake in Ashford since 1979. But the sculpture has suffered serious damage over the years and Kent County Council (KCC) decided it needed to be sent to specialists in Telford for major restoration. When construction and quarry company Gallagher Group heard about the restoration plans, it offered to play its part. Gallagher volunteered specialist staff and equipment to lift and transport the sculpture on behalf of KCC. Using a crane and hydraulic lifting equipment, the Gallagher team hoisted the two-piece sculpture from its position by the lake and onto the lorry that was to take it to Shropshire. The Gormley sculpture will have a new home at Ashford station when it returns in the Spring so in its place, Gallagher offered to donate two similar sized ragstone boulders selected from its quarry in Barming. Ragstone is local to the area and during the Singleton development large pieces of local ragstone were regularly uncovered. The boulders have been put into position by the lake and are ideal for climbing and sitting on. Pat Gallagher, chairman of the Maidstone based Gallagher Group said: “We are delighted to help Kent County Council with the restoration of this internationally important sculpture by providing specialist equipment and managing the tricky task of transportation. We are also very proud that we are able to showcase traditional Kentish ragstone at Singleton for the public to enjoy.”

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