“Propeller Post” – Stainless Steel Sculpture
Funded by Sustrans National Cycle Network and Hatfield Leisure, 1999.
“Propeller Post” is a stainless steel sculpture that reflects Hatfield’s role as a focus for different modes of transport from the age of steam, through flight, the car and now the development of a National Cycle Network
Hatfield is situated at the intersection of the East West Route A414 and the major route to the North, the A1 (M). The de Havilland aircraft works was sited in the Hatfield alongside the Hatfield to St Albans branch line of the Great Northern Railway. This branch line is now re-used as the Alban Way, part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network. The sculpture will stand at the start of this path.
“Propeller Post” expresses some of Hatfield’s character as a focal point for various modes of transport by combining simple images relating to these activities in a single form. The idea of a High Post comes from the use of signals and signposts on the roads and footpaths in Hatfield, and from signals on the former steam railway. The notion of High Post also comes from the Roman High Stone or route marker that often stood at points of intersection on busy thoroughfares.
“Propeller Post” is situated close to the intersection of the Great North Road – the original main road going North through Hertfordshire – and the main East-West road through Hatfield; the work will mark an intersection that goes back hundreds of years.
Included in the design are impressions of railway signals, flags, steam engine wheels and funnels, bicycle wheels and saddles and car-wheels. The steam engine wheels are from trains that actually ran on the Hatfield to St Albans branch line. The propeller is from de Havilland’s “Mosquito” and the planes represented are his “Humming Bird” and “Comet”. Evoking Hatfield’s industrial past, theses elements form a dynamic design that also point positively to the future.