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The Town Hall Sculpture - A WAB Debate

Wednesday May 29 2013


What do you think to the sculpture? Have your say! What do you think to the sculpture? Have your say!


THE new sculpture at Barnsley Town Hall has settled into its surroundings for the past week, and it's already had its first climbing incident. Although the council has not purchased it, it did cost them £4,000 for its transportation and will cost a further £5,000 a year to insure. What do you think of it? Has it grown on you?

After high winds, they had to wait for them to drop and it took hours of careful manoeuvring with a giant crane, but finally the 33ft-high giant statue called Vertical is standing in its new home in Barnsley town centre.

A recent post on our Facebook page saw all sorts of names for it being given from locals, ranging from 'The Rusty Comb' to 'The Giant CD Rack', but after that somewhat negative response we wondered if it's changed your mind after seeing it?

The striking steel sculpture stands in the bottom corner of the new community square and gardens being created at the side of the Town Hall. 

Made by Nigel Hall, it's valued at £1.5million and is on loan from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Cllr Roy Miller said: "This is a stunning piece of contemporary artwork and it will complement the excellent design of the square and create an international quality public space for the residents and visitors to Barnsley."

There have already been suggestions the sculpture may attract drunks who may attempt to climb it and injure themselves.

But Cllr Miller said there will be warning notice not to climb the statue and added: "We cannot legislate against individuals who put themselves at risk. We cannot stop progress or prevent improvements just because one or two unthinking people might behave badly."

What do you think? Has it changed your original thoughts having seen it for the last week or so? If not, what would you have chosen instead? Have your say below.

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47 Showing 47 comments

Reply Posted by Jake ryan on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:13
Looks like a climbing frame to me...

Reply Posted by observer on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:16
its a pathetic pile of rust. fancy putting it next to a magnificent building like the town hall???

Reply Posted by Becci on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:22
What is the point of this?why build somthing like that outside a building like the town hall?they dont have money to fund the things that matters but their happy to find 5grand a yr to insure this thing....

Reply Posted by artfan on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:29
Love it! Great to see modern art against the backdrop of a great classical looking building.

Reply Posted by meg on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:31
Wot a waste of money!!! How long before someone gets hurt??? We have better things to spend money in the borough!!!! The arse sat in an office who decided this eyesore was a good idea wants sacking!!!!

Reply Posted by Gavin on Sunday June 2 2013 at 13:51
I agree!

Reply Posted by WTF on Friday June 7 2013 at 03:26
So do I!!

Reply Posted by Sarah on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:35
There was nothing wrong with the town hall beforehand . Despite enjoying artwork there are plenty of places this cash could be better spent

Reply Posted by John on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:46
if the council has surplus money to spend on silly things like that then why dont they put it to better use, all this will encounter is silly people on there way round town on a friday and saturday night that will climb it.... lets count the days before a report of some one climbing it to the top and falling off it........... what a waste of tax payers money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Streuth on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 10:48
Glad they are trying. Make the place look nice and seem cared for and it should spread throughout the town (gradually)

Reply Posted by jon harper ex barnsley lad on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:01
why spoil the look of such an iconic and well known and well photographed building. by dumping a load of scrap metal on its doorstep... whoevers responsible wants bitch slapping....we can only pray that it somehow offends a minority religion or sect and then the council will have to pull it down for fear of offending their god(S)..

Reply Posted by jon harper ex barnsley lad on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:03
five grand to insure it??? it wouldnt make that in scrap value .. it is dire...

Reply Posted by Kath on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:09
What a waste of tax payers money we r paying t look at that and the new gardens when they get finished..hope they not as long with the gardens like they r with the road near asda

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:37
5 grand, to move I thought it would be a lot more. I like it, but then I liked it at sculpture park too.

Reply Posted by Ged on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:41
It was only 15 mins away for anyone to see if they wanted to, now we all have to look at it, and its costing to do so. I recon more people see it the less likely they are to visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park if they believe the park has more of the same.

Reply Posted by eric on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 11:56
why do we want a thing like that in the town (a rust bucket). I think the money that as been spent on transport and what it is to cost in insurance that could be spent on better things and i agree with what people are saying LOAD OF RUST SCRAP.

Reply Posted by Kay on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 12:17
It's in town all gardens. Ok but if put anything higher then a metre in our gardens council would jump on us.
Can some one tell me what it is supposed to represent? X

Reply Posted by waine on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 19:33
ha, yeah, hope they've got planning permission for this pile !!

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 12:35
I like it, although obviously I've not seen it in the full surroundings of the new gardens - however, art is whatever you want to make of it- it will represent something completely different to each individual and to those saying that drunks will climb it - let them, if they're big enough to go in a pub and get drunk then they're big enough to make their own decision to climb it or not, just like they make a decision to crossing a road.

Reply Posted by king louis on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 13:58
a free gift that costs £100 a week to insure..... are barnsley council thick or something?

Reply Posted by WB on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 15:19
@Kay
I agree with Hoyland Red that it is what you make of it.
The best one I read in the Chronicle on Friday was celebrating 'The backbone of our community'. I am quite looking forward to seeing it in the setting of the new gardens.

Reply Posted by Tina on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 18:55
Job losses and budget cuts! then they waste money on this? a rusty comb shaped "sculpture" It will become a competition now one person has climbed it, like a status symbol they all will want this claim to fame....oh yeah I also have some scrap in my garden if council want it £25,000 ono

Reply Posted by andy s on Wednesday May 29 2013 at 19:14
art my arse,next time your dog fouls the pavement leave it there call it art and watch what the council do,load of poo

Reply Posted by junky John on Thursday May 30 2013 at 09:16
you bunch of heathens,
can you not see it is a gift from God taking a shot at the Town hall but sadly his timing and his aim are not so good these days.
A Bolt from the blue.

Reply Posted by Evil Roy Slade on Thursday May 30 2013 at 11:42
Looks like most people just don’t appreciate the councils attempt to make Barnsley a centre for Art & Culture.

Next they could spend £150,000 on an unmade bed outside the Job Centre (Tracey Emin) or £14,000,000 on a pickled cow on the Peel Square plinth(Damien Hirst).

Bu99er the roads, bu99er the hospitals, bu99er the elderly, bu99er the crime rate and bu99er the ratepayers...... let’s have art everywhere.


Reply Posted by Ged on Thursday May 30 2013 at 11:51
... and why will folk climb it? As Mallory allegedly said, "... because it's there ..."

Reply Posted by eric on Thursday May 30 2013 at 15:32
Total waste,i wonder if Number 10 are aware. I think this waste should be on national news.

Reply Posted by Lee on Friday May 31 2013 at 11:09
I'm looking forward to seeing it. After all what else is there to bring anyone to Barnsley town centre? I think more money does need to be spent improving Barnsley, more tourists and people in the shops, pubs, cafe's will secure more jobs etc. I think everyone should be a bit more optimistic about Barnsleys future and stop slating it all the time. Be proud of it and let it improve. There is a lot of culture which people want to see, i know the residents of Barnsley are capable of warm welcomes. If the odd moron think's climing it is fun then they've probably spent all their wages or dole at the bookies and are looking for the next big thrill.

Reply Posted by Gillian on Sunday July 7 2013 at 13:23
Tourists to Barnsley? What for??? Wait, I know - to see the highest amount of jobless ppl, teenager mothers, fat ppl, terrible fashion and awful buildings around whole town, rubbish old buses and worse car drivers in UK.

Reply Posted by maxine on Friday May 31 2013 at 17:22
WAB is this the interview with a council spokesperson that you talked of yesterday? If it is then I am very disappointed, it explains nothing. Only points out that people should use their common sense. Well the right honourable/stupid Cllr Miller didn't use his common sense so why should others? Stupid man and a very disheartening interview :(

Reply Posted by von on Sunday June 2 2013 at 13:15
The council keep saying there is no money and keep making cut backs, but yet they can afford to pay £5,000 a year to insure this eyesore, which will potentialy will lead to someones death through drunken idiots trying to climb up it. Can't believe we pay council tax to fund such nonsense. PATHETIC. !!!!!!

Reply Posted by Gavin on Sunday June 2 2013 at 13:57
When its finally finished over schedule and over budget what will it do? are people going to say "lets visit Barnsley and see the giant rusty nit comb!" ? I think not! spend the money on things that will benefit Barnsley, Tidy the main roads in and out of town and improve parking and amenities, and look after Barnsley residents and tax payers!

Reply Posted by megan-shalana on Sunday June 2 2013 at 14:20
Its thee ugliest thing ive ever seen in my life! And the ridiculous amount of money it costs is offensive. Im all for brightening up the town but youve gotta prioritise. I think we can all agree its money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

Reply Posted by betty on Sunday June 2 2013 at 14:46
talk about it bieng an eyesore,i think the grass verges are ! cannot afford to cut them but thy can spend money on that !!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Rita Anderson on Sunday June 2 2013 at 19:24
You think this an eyesore. We have a monstrosity too . It is called a vertical pier. No-one wanted it but we got it. It is on the front of Redcar in Cleveland

Reply Posted by Tony on Tuesday June 4 2013 at 16:30
Local Councils get Millions of pounds every year from housing developers and such like to use in local communities firstly for parks/kid playgrounds/infrastructure and any other good causes or public projects, If the money is not used locally in e.g. Darfield within 6mths they loose the power to use it and it is then passed on to Barnsley Council central funds to use on similar projects in the town centre area, Hense the new council buildings, Barnsley council are extremely experienced in wasting the vast majority of this money, You only have to take a trip out to Sheffield to see the difference, Trams/roads shopping and leisure facilities are way way better, Or Huddersfield is also way way better and better planned out than our own town centre.

Reply Posted by Angry resident on Thursday June 6 2013 at 16:26
I Cannot agree more Tony. Well dun.

Reply Posted by cp on Thursday June 27 2013 at 16:01
Sheffield? really? l work in Leeds and city for city Sheffield doesn't come close, its a dump. And a Barnsley man built and paid for Meadowhall. You can't compare Barnsley to Sheffield, city funding to a town funding....

Reply Posted by steve on Wednesday June 5 2013 at 16:33
common sence,is no longer common.lol

Reply Posted by ANGRY Resident on Thursday June 6 2013 at 16:20
That's all Barnsley needs? A rusty lump of metal stuck next to a grand old building?? Cheers councillors no money, but can spend 4 grand a year for insuring that lump of scrap! And you all know that Barnsley is over tightening it's belt because they have no money.The prat that thought up this idea want's to be made to pay for it not the tax payer's!!! A total waste of money and a blot on the landscape !!!! RUSTY ONE AT THAT.

Reply Posted by Angry Resident on Thursday June 6 2013 at 16:33
Sorry for the mistake should have put % grand not 4,and I'm still mad???

Reply Posted by ANGRY Resident on Thursday June 6 2013 at 18:08
Still ANGRY, and another mistake should be 5 Grand to insure and 4 to move it from Bretton Park 9 thousand in all WTF?????

Reply Posted by mary on Sunday June 16 2013 at 20:17
Well I think if there is spare money about it should be used to help people. I love art but I think people should come first and then if there is spare money buy art. Just the same as buy food before you buy a painting for your wall etc. There are so many pots and each one thinks if they don't spend up it it will be taken off them and put in another pot and Rightly so People First.

Reply Posted by Lesley on Friday June 28 2013 at 00:06
The gardens look very nice, but the sculpture is ghastly. I thought all local government offices were saving money? Do you really think someone will want to come to Barnsley and look at a rusty piece of metal. You are very sadly mistaken. Don't say I have no culture, I certainly do, but I also have lots of common sense about what constitutes good spending .........

Reply Posted by Don McCarron on Thursday July 4 2013 at 15:10
Whether you consider this art or not is up to you. The choice of setting, however, is typical Barnsley Council. Can't wait to see it taken back where it belongs.

Reply Posted by Ossett Gaz on Saturday July 13 2013 at 18:23
Surely, a large statue of a miner would have been far better that that horrible looking monstrosity! It does look like a huge, rusty comb... in my view, spoiling the centre of Barnsley. The quicker it's shifted, the better.

Reply Posted by Barugh green resident on Friday November 1 2013 at 12:19
Should have been left in the Sculpture Park -too large for it's current setting and too damned expensive. How can we afford it when we can't afford to provide anymore litter bins in villages and when council essential services are being cut and residents told by Steve Houghton to take over litter collection themselves. I pick up litter but its not my JOB!!! Shame on you Councillors.