North East industrial prints. Middlesbrough steelworks

I’ve started a new series of small Fenland landscapes to follow the ‘Poplars’ series and, just to make printmaking life more complicated I’ve decided to revisit some of the images in my Art School sketchbooks. This happened because I was having a tidying up session and I started moving things, then an old sketch book fell open and that was me distracted and diverted for a couple of hours. The steel industry in Middlesbrough and all along the River Tees was always a favourite subject and in those days as long as you kept out of the way nobody really bothered you, apart from having ‘a look at what you were doing’ and asking you to draw them while they had a cup of tea! Now it would be permissions, tags, hard-hats and an escort to watch over you all the time you were there, the sixties were obviously a lot more relaxed. Anyway below is a composite image that I intend to re-visit. In the background is the huge steel ladle with the number 18 on it that eventually became the print ‘Andy Campbell’s ladle’. Eighteen being his squad number when he played for Middlesbrough. I think that there’s quite possibly a subject for another print hiding in the gouache on that sketch book page, so it’s back to work. We’re locked down so print on.

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