Spalding MARK-IT Trail: an introduction

Cattle, pigs, sheep jostling in the town centre, herded, penned, bellowing, bleating, an auctioneer's mesmerising patter and farmyard smells everywhere. All of it gone now. Few residents are any longer aware of this key part of Spalding's heritage, and no visitors are....

The MARK-IT Trail therefore aims to celebrate Spalding's market in its livestock heyday (also the annual hiring fair) and South Holland's  importance to the nation's food supply. The idea is to have a group of high quality sculptures, mosaics and murals in the town centre, sited where the animals were traditionally sold – thus, sheep in the Sheepmarket, cattle in New Road, pigs in Red Lion Street, and so on. All still just within living memory.


Originally the Market Art project looked solely to the past, but the Project was extended to take in the present day, when most of Joseph Hillier's small bronzes (our first commission) turned out to figure people nearly all related in some way to the area's food production, and Addo Food's donation of The Bakers statue (bottom right brought in food processing. The small bronzes can be found on various building's in the town centre and Laury Dizengremel's The Hiring in Hall Place. The Bakers is in storage at the moment.


The Project was launched in the Newsletter in 2009, but it remained a dream until the arrival of Transported Arts in 2013 made it a possibility. Transported was able to channel Arts Council funding into our first two commissions, to add to the generous donations from the Society's members and well-wishers. We have worked in close partnership with Transported ever since and are working more closely with the Council now as well.
Everyone the Project has been put to has liked it. Indeed, when the Lincolnshire Free Press ran a campaign a few years ago appealing for "Big Ideas" for the regeneration of the town centre the Market Art Project was selected as the winner by the adjudicating panel.
If it has seemed to be in limbo these last few years, with nothing much happening, that's because we have been searching for a source of funding. Now that our bid for government funding has been successful with a substantial sum from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund , we can get going again, andspeedily, as the money has to be spent by March 2025. Our immediate sites are New Road (cattle) and the Sheepmarket (sheep).

We  hope  to  be  able  to commission high quality art works as varied as the ones pictured here, so that besides enhancing the attractiveness of the town centre for all who live and work here, the Project has the potential to become a visitor attraction and increase footfall in the town. 

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