"Heart of Steel" sculpture unveiled in Rotherham town centre

Published Thursday, 25th June 2015
Heart of Steel - minster gardens
Minster Gardens and the Heart of Steel

As the ambitious “Yorkshire Man of Steel” project edges ever closer, a big piece of the project is set to bring a lot of heart to Rotherham town centre.

The artist behind the Yorkshire Man of Steel, Steve Mehdi, has created an exact replica of the “Heart of Steel”, which will one day sit inside the Man of Steel figure.

The full scale replica sculpture will be unveiled in the Minster Gardens, next to Rotherham Minster in Rotherham town centre, on Saturday July 4 at 11am, with the overall event itself lasting from 10.30am until late afternoon. 

The Heart of Steel sculpture has been gifted to Rotherham by the charity behind the Man of Steel project with the generous support of Outokumpu High Performance Stainless and Maher Ltd.

“Life on Mars” and “Ashes to Ashes” actor Dean Andrews, together with 11-year-old British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heart Hero Jemma Holden will unveil the 3.5 metre high work of art in the popular town centre green space in a day of events and celebration.

Jemma recently won the BHF’s Heart Hero award for her exceptional fundraising efforts following the death of her father last year from heart failure.

The Rotherham Heart of Steel sculpture will be placed on a plinth made out of local stone from Ulley Quarry, which will have five “time capsules” placed inside it; three from Wingfield Academy and one each from the Winterhill Ready Hub and Jemma.

The time capsules from the schools will feature information about jobs in our area, modern fashion, today’s technology and information about the cost of living and leisure activities we enjoy.

The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Maggi Clark, will be on hand to help the children place the time capsules in the plinth.

The day of celebration, which comes at no cost to Rotherham Council thanks to a number of generous sponsors, will also feature a host of stalls, music and entertainment.

The event has been organised with the support of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and the BHF, who have been working with the Council on the Rotherham Heart Town project since 2012.

Music will be provided by Rotherham School Service’s brass band and the West Melton Primary School Choir.

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Places for People Leisure and MoreLife Ltd will be hosting a series of health-related events and both Heart and Man of Steel souvenirs will be available to purchase on the day.

Managing Director of Rotherham Council, Commissioner Stella Manzie said: “The Minster Gardens is already a relaxing slice of green in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Rotherham town centre, with the inclusion of this fantastic work of art, it will become an even more beautiful and poignant place.

“This event shows what large hearts the people and organisations of Rotherham and South Yorkshire have. The list of local sponsors demonstrates the enthusiasm for this wonderful artwork, and how clearly the businesses embrace the ethos of “Love Your Town, Love Your Heart”.

“Specific thanks should go to artist Steve Mehdi, who has clearly recognised the importance and impact of Rotherham as a Heart Town and all the work that has gone into raising funds to install 52 defibrillators across the area.

“His efforts, as well as those of all the sponsors of the Rotherham Heart of Steel is one that will be remembered for many, many years to come.

“The event will stand testament to the wonderful spirit and pride Rotherham’s communities possess and I have little doubt that it will be a day to remember.” 

Lauren Mallinson, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation, added: “Heart disease devastates the lives of people in every community. That’s why we’re proud of the way the Rotherham Heart Town project has galvanised people throughout the community to work together and stop people’s lives being cut short. 

“We hope this project will inspire more people to join the fight against heart disease.”

The original Heart of Steel will bear the names of 150,000 people and sit inside the 30-metre Yorkshire Man of Steel figure, set to be erected at Kimberworth in the near future.

Donations have poured in from across the county and the UK since the Heart of Steel appeal was launched in June 2014.

For more information about Rotherham Heart Town, please visit the Facebook page.

For more about the Yorkshire Man of Steel please visit the website.  

Visit Rotherham Heart Town on FacebookVisit Rotherham Heart Town on Facebook

Visit the Man of Steel websiteimage