Book shows making of Heanor sculpture

THE ARTIST responsible for Heanor’s Wings and Wheel’s sculpture has revealed the secrets behind its design in a new book.

The structure, which stands on the Tesco roundabout at the foot of Market Street in the town, has been the subject of much debate since it was unveiled in May.

Now sculptor, Rachel Carter, 36, who has lived most of her life in the town, has released a free book revealing all about the history behind the £20,000 arts grant funded landmark.

She said: “I wrote this because there is such a lot of work that goes into a piece of art.

“The sculpture is finished now, and it will hopefully stand there for decades - but there are things you don’t see with a sculpture like that.

“I thought if people want to come and look at it for years to come then they’ve got this resource they will be able to look at for years to come.”

The sculpture takes its inspiration from the town’s textile heritage, and in particular pays tribute to the logo of the I and R Morley’s factory which once stood on the site.

The book, which can be read at Heanor Library and Heanor Town hall for free, takes readers through Rachel’s creative journey, from the research stages through to building the sculpture itself.

Derby university graduate Rachel, who now is based at Shed2 Studios in Ilkeston, said I and R Morleys was a firm particularly close to her heart as her mother, grandmother and aunts all worked there.

The former Aldercar Community and Language College pupil spent many hours researching the firm, of which she visited many times, in the archives of Nottingham Trent University.

Rachel said: “It was more than just a place of work for people it was really part of the community.

“It even had a sprung dance floor in the canteen for monthly dances , they had a fund for families during the war and a monthly newsletter.

“I wanted to show that it has not been forgotten.”

Despite receiving occasional heckles from passers-by while she was helping workers install the sculpture earlier in the year, Rachel said some reactions have been much more positive.

She added: “I had a lot of direct feedback. A lot of the people that actually did step up and talk to me, once they had listened to me about it, they had some really good things to say.”

Carter was commissioned by Amber Valley Borough Council to develop a sculpture that captured the essence of Heanor.

She has recently launched a book titled Heanor Wings & Wheels Sculpture, which details her creative journey and how the she reached the final design that now sits at the junction of Derby Road and Market Street in Heanor’s town centre.

Rachel, who is based at Shed2 Studios in Ilkeston, immersed herself in the town’s history and researched its industrial past. She then carefully designed and manufactured the final Wings and Wheels sculpture.

The landmark takes its inspiration from the town’s textile heritage and aims to provide a focal point for the community and encompass the town’s wider regeneration aspirations.

“The sculpture was inspired by I&R Morley, a knitwear factory that once stood on the site, I decided to create the book to give me an opportunity to illustrate how my research and development led to the final design for the sculpture.”

For more information on Rachel’s or to preview/purchase the book online visit