Videos of Ebbw Vale Steelworks demolition sought for Ghost Parade

Thursday 10 May 2012, 13:46

Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain

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Welsh artist Stefhan Caddick is appealing for videos of the demolition of one part of Ebbw Vale Steelworks for his project Ghost Parade, part of Wales' involvement in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Ghost Parade will mark the arrival of Adain Avion in Ebbw Vale at the start of July, and will also celebrate a decade of transition in the former industrial town.

Twelve public art commissions will be taking place across the UK's nations and regions this summer to help celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The commissions are part of the UK Arts Councils' flagship project for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, called artists taking the lead, and Adain Avion is the chosen project for Wales.

It is a mobile arts space, created from the transformed body of a DC-9 aeroplane, which will travel across Wales in June, July and August. Performances, installations, workshops and events with leading Welsh and international artists will take place at each of its destinations.

Ghost Parade will take place at night on Sunday 1 July. The procession will take place along the final mile of Adain Avion's journey from Swansea to Ebbw Vale until the plane reaches its destination outside the former steelwork's General Offices where it will nest for a week. The parade will include outdoor projections and archive moving images, plus music from Ebbw Valley Brass.

The General Offices in Ebbw Vale

The General Offices in Ebbw Vale, the destination of Adain Avion in Ebbw Vale

As well as celebrating the fuselage's arrival, Ghost Parade will mark the 10th anniversary of the closure of the Ebbw Vale Steelworks.

Artist Stefhan Caddick is looking specifically for videos of the demolition of one particular part of the steelworks, called the pickler. The pickler was an iconic part of the steelworks and integral to the steel making process: it was in this part of the works that the surface oxide (or scale) formed on the hot roll coil during the hot rolling process was removed with acid.

The enormous structure spanned the valley below the village of Ty Llwyn and when it was demolished on 31 March in 2004 hundreds of people turned out to see the building come down, many armed with film and video cameras to record the event.

Here are some before and after photos, screen grabs taken a film submitted by the Ebbw Vale Institute, which show the demolition:

The Pickler before demolition (screen grab taken from a video by the Ebbw Vale Institute)

The Pickler before demolition...

The Pickler demolition (screen grab taken from a video by the Ebbw Vale Institute)

and afterwards

Stefhan is appealing for people to come forward with their recordings of the demolition so that he can bring these individual films, each shot from differing angles and viewpoints, together and screen them simultaneously on a large screen as part of the Ghost Parade event.

If you want to contribute to the project, or you know someone who may have filmed the demolition, you can contact Stefhan on ghost@stefhancaddick.co.uk. For more information about Ghost Parade visit stefhancaddick.co.uk/ghost-parade or visit the Ghost Parade page on Facebook.

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