Historic Buildings and Sites – Jubilee House and its Artworks

weather-vaneWeathervane: the artists thought the outline of Madeley Parish resembled a cockerel so, using what remained of the original vane (and some artistic licence), they produced the design that now sits proudly atop Jubilee House.
 Clock: This is on the back wall of the building facing Court street and the Fletcher Methodist Chapel. It represents the area’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution in both material and human terms. The iron clock-face was cast locally and is set upon three Shropshire sandstone columns mounted with nine rusted discs. The iron and sandstone reflect local materials and the nine discs symbolise the death of the Nine Men of Madeley – actually three men and six boys, the youngest only twelve years old – who were killed in an accident at the Brick Kiln Leasow Pit on 27th September 1864. The interior glass door is sandblasted with a ‘ghost’ image of the clock but with binary digits replacing the 3, 6, 9 and 12 points. This is intended to indicate the changing nature of local industry.
 Floor MosaicIn the reception area visitors are greeted with a colourful Floor Mosaic based on a seasonal clock made by four local schools and illustrating spring, summer, autumn and winter surrounding a mirror which reflects the changing light from above.
The Nut and Bolt Bench in the same area represents the industrial life of the building as the home of a light engineering works.
 Suspended Glass and Steel Sculpture: This is called In Time. It comprises 117 glass objects, representative of the past history of the building and including nuts and bolts, tools, toys and items of fruit and vegetables. Each appears to be falling from a large pocket watch face and the whole is intended to encapsulate the variety of uses to which the building has been put throughout time.
A number of pieces have been added as the result of community projects. Adjoining the lift is a Commemorative Panel designed and made by Year 9 students from the former Abraham Darby School. It consists of twelve individual tiles depicting the 1864 local mine disaster and dedicated to all Shropshire miners and their families.

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 Material Matters is a wall-hanging situated behind the lift, underneath the stairs. It was created to celebrate the Year of the Pensioner in 1993 and comprises different fabrics and stitch work using images, stories and reminiscences brought together and assembled by local pensioners.
 Over three hundred people, from ten local groups, contributed to the images and text on the Stair Panels which represent a ‘visual diary’ of the community of Madeley Parish at one particular point in time.textilesAlso on the stairs are six small Textile Works inspired by the locality and its history and, in the Marks Room, is located a single larger piece featuring motifs inspired by previous uses of the building.
Hanging against the wall behind the suspended sculpture is a large Patchwork Quilt made up of twenty five fabric squares. Each square was produced by a different local group and represents the activities of the group. These include voluntary organisations such as the local branch of the WEA and a range of family and uniform groups as well as institutions such as Madeley Library and the CHEC centre.

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The Community Rooms

On the first floor are a kitchen and two community rooms which are hired to local groups for a variety of purposes. Each community room is named after a respected local person who contributed extensively to the life of the parish.

The Marks Room was named in honour of Gil Marks, a Welsh miner, who walked from South Wales to Birmingham in the 1930s in search of work. He joined Lucas Engineering and moved, with his wife Betty, to Telford when the company opened a plant on Halesfield in the late 1960s. He was a very active member of the engineering union and, after retirement, became involved in a wide range of community activities including the establishment of the High Street , as a venue for the unemployed, in the early 1980s. Gil had experienced similar projects in the Welsh valleys in the early 1930s. He was a founder member of Madeley Parish Council and played a very active and vocal rôle in its proceedings.

The McGavin Room is named after much-loved local doctor who came to Madeley in 1948 after war service. After a short period as a junior doctor he opened his own practice, which he operated until he was turned 70, in addition to being responsible for Kemberton Colliery. Dr. McGavin was noted for his dedication to patients and for the quality of his care – nothing was too much trouble for him and he often performed personal care duties well beyond his remit. At Kemberton he never hesitated when medical aid was needed at underground mine accidents.

Today, the ground floor of Jubilee House is occupied by the offices of Madeley Town Council as well as Madeley, Woodside and Sutton Hill Credit Union. The Marks and McGavin rooms provide a well-used community resource for a number of local clubs and groups.