The client was Tameside Metropolitan BC in partnership with Frank Travis at the Ashton Renewal Project with Taylor Young (Urban Design Consultants) and advice from the North West Arts board. The work was completed in September ready for Ashton in Bloom 2000 around the same time as the petrol shortage. (People were up in arms at fuel being the most expensive in Europe at 80p/litre! Look at us now!)
The brief asked the successful candidate to sign post Portland Basin canal junction and Museum from the main Park Parade by-pass where it joined Welbeck Street South.
My idea was to replace the damaged Durbar railings with two twelve meter long flat canal boats painted in the colours of the cut by Maxine Bailey. I also designed several meters of railings to allow easy site-lines as members of the Highways Department were concerned about safety. The project was the first stage in the development of a very run down area ready for the M60 motorway link that is now in place. I worked with a local fabrication firm called FLM owned by Bill Worthington at Junction Mill (an old cotton mill) and assisted in the manufacture and fitting of the panels. During that time cut off from the world but with two new wheels, the Guzzi, I shared a wooden canal boat with huge slugs in the basin near the museum. In the wake of this work as part of the brief I produced a one off brochure entitled Proposals for the Regeneration of The Henry Square and The Ashton New Wharf Area of Greater Manchester.