The picture above shows Mike, Di, artist David and the maquette of the 60ft long Jigsaw, used to sell the concept to Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody MP and to all the various sponsors and participants.
the pieces together!
Gradually the vision took on the tangible shape of a mural. The first realisation
was that the space they wanted it to occupy was the railway station at Crewe,
a major gateway into and out of the area, but also a significant interchange
for people travelling all over the country, or heading overseas via the North
West Regions airports.
Mike and Diane with backgrounds as engineers who have also contributed significantly
to the work of the engineering profession, the technological heritage of the
area was a rich source of interest and delight.
a meeting of Headteachers of the areas secondary schools in the autumn
of that year, they presented a brief which asked their pupils to create designs
for the mural which took as its theme the technological heritage of the borough
through their eyes, past, present and looking forward. The schools, along
with art students at Manchester Metropolitan Universitys Alsager Campus
and also residents of the Crewe YMCA, rose amazingly to the challenge. On
3 December they handed over their 75 designs, created on huge sheets of cardboard,
at an event held at the Crewe Alexandra FC, in the presence of the Mayor of
Crewe and Nantwich and his wife.
that point onwards the project gathered momentum, taking the energy released
by the excitement generated by that day and building on it. The format of
the mural evolved into a jigsaw puzzle of 75 pieces, signifying the interlocking
activities and commitments of all those who gradually became enmeshed in the
projects needs. It was decided to machine the jigsaw pieces from sheet
steel, with local manufacturers coming to the rescue to create the computer
design to make machining possible, to undertake the sophisticated laser cutting
of the pieces, and to treat them to make them rust-proof.
it was down to David! He had been working with the schools designs for
several months until the pieces were ready to work with and at the beginning
of April he started painting the pieces for real. Once engrossed in the task,
he worked to finish the painting in an astonishing month of activity, meeting
his project-imposed deadline.
issue which had caused the biggest headache once the pieces were made was
how to finalise the method of installation. The 2.5m high Jigsaw was to be
installed on the full length of a 20m long wall of the main corridor joining
platforms at the station, and in such a way that it could be demounted for
its safety should the station ever undergo renovation. Again, local business
came to the rescue, with an engineering company fabricating the designs created
by a local engineer for a unique method of installation. The Jigsaw was then
installed by the stations own contractors.
the way down the line, it has been local businesses and individuals who have
made the project work. Everyone who has engaged with the project and become
the sponsors for each of the Jigsaws 75 massive pieces has given a service,
materials, done a piece of work, or given money to buy any missing elements.
Without all of them, this project would not have happened, and they are all
owed a great debt of gratitude for their support and vital encouragement.
With the Jigsaw installed, it was time to celebrate such a wonderful community-wide project. On Friday 14 June 2002, an unveiling ceremony was held, with the honours undertaken by MP for the Borough, Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, Chairman of the Commons Select Committee for Transport. Representatives of all those involved in the project were there to congratulate themselves on their achievement; schools, businesses, local authorities and organisations, and of course, the press. At the event, the Borough Council in the person of the Mayor accepted Stewardship of the Jigsaw, to ensure lasting care for this unique work of art, as something to be cherished.