RE: FREDDIE Gilroy sculpture.
I have just been to see the Freddie Gilroy sculpture and was horrified at what I saw – not at the sculpture – it is fantastic, but at its location.
A recipe for disaster is light gauge steel and sea water. It causes intense corrosion and Mrs Robinson’s gift and Scarborough’s future tourist attraction will soon be a heap of rust. Also with the high price of scrap, it would only take a thief with a Hi-hab on his lorry a couple of minutes to lift it on, under cover of darkness and drive off with it.
Back to the corrosion problem. The seat appears to be mild steel with a galvanised finish which has a lifespan of 50 years reducing to 25 years in a marine environment, but as this is permanently in salt air and probably sprayed with salt water twice per day, it will probably be a lot less than that.
The figure appears to be made from thin gauge Cor-ten steel. I have looked up the properties of this on the internet and found the following:-
Due to the addition of alloys the steel exhibits increased resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to unalloyed steel because it forms a protective layer on its surface under the influence of the weather.
This is dependent upon the corrosive character of the atmosphere and the orientation of the structure. In general the covering layer offers protection against atmospheric corrosion in industrial, urban and countryside climates. When used in an unprotected condition, a minimum material thickness of 5mm is recommended. In cases of particular air pollution by aggressive agents (as in this case), conventional surface protection is recommended and is absolutely necessary in case of contact with water for long periods, when permanently exposed to moisture or is to be used in the vicinity of the sea.
Taking the above into account, to preserve Mrs Robinson’s gift, it is essential that it is protected by painting, followed by a regular maintenance programme. It would also benefit from being in a friendlier, more secure location, ie the shopping centre.
What horror and a great disappointment that someone could be so mean and stupid to vandalise the wonderful statue Freddie Gilroy.
It was such a joy to discover that Maureen Robinson had generously donated this marvellous piece of sculpture. It is a real piece of inspiration and Ray Lonsdale has a great gift of purpose and imagination – witness the number of people who have taken Freddie to heart, his constant stream of visitors and the enormous feeling of horror and shame that the vandalism has created.
What a sad morning for Maureen last Friday. But thank goodness it has been possible to clean the paint and Freddie looks as good as new, now. How sad it is that any piece of public art is a vulnerable target. Hopefully the culprit will soon be named, shamed and punished.
If left in its present position on the North Bay, I would give it no more than a couple of years before salt water would damage it beyond repair.
My suggestion would be to position Freddie on Merchants Row, one of Scarborough’s oldest historic thoroughfares. He will overlook desolation, through to the delights of South Bay and beyond, poignant reminders of the worst and best of Scarborough.
The sculpture would give Eastborough a much-needed boost. It would give much-needed publicity to the Marine Heritage Centre a few yards away. It would be covered by CCTV, and last but by no means least, admired not only by the passing public but also by thousands of holidaymakers looking up from South Bay beach.
I was appalled and very sad to read about the damage that was done, with yellow paint poured over the Freddy Gilroy statue in North Bay. What was the point? What sort of people cause such vandalism and upset? I am sure the people of Scarborough are disgusted with this. Let’s hope that the culprits are caught.