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SALFORD TOTEM POLE TO BE EXPORTED TO SWINTON
 

Star date: 6th November 2013

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD DOCKS TOTEM POLE TO BE HOUSED IN SWINTON GATEWAY 

First the Salford Quays cargo cranes were demolished, now the lovingly refurbished Totem Pole, that used to stand on the old Docks site, is to be exported to Swinton.

The Totem Pole is to be housed inside the new Swinton Gateway building, at a cost of £30,000, after every single business approached on the Quays declined to accommodate it.

Full details here…


Salford Totem Pole Moves To Swinton Salford Totem Pole Moves To Swinton Salford Totem Pole Moves To Swinton
Salford Totem Pole Moves To Swinton Salford Totem Pole
click image to enlarge

With the trashing of the blue Salford Quays cargo cranes still fresh in the memory (see here), another vital piece of Salford's heritage, the former Docks Totem Pole, is also to be exiled from its original site with a proposal to export it to Swinton, and put it inside the new Gateway building near the Civic Centre.

The Salford Totem Pole was originally commissioned by Robert Stoker, Chairman of Manchester Liners, in 1969 as a reminder of the area's trade links with Canada. Carved by Canadian Indian Douglas Cranmer of the Kwakiutl tribe, it stood outside the company's offices on the Quays until 2005 when it was removed and slung into storage in Kent where it was re-discovered by Councillor Steve Coen, now Assistant Mayor for International Relations.

The Totem Pole was brought back to Salford and stored in an Ordsall lock up unit, before being carefully restored to its former glory recently by Kevin Cranmer, the nephew of its original creator.

Salford people expected the stunning Totem Pole to be put back on the Quays as a precious heritage item – indeed Salix Homes actually put out a press release stating that it was "a proud sponsor of a Totem Pole that will stand tall over the new Media City Development" – but not one single Salford Quays company that Councillor Coen approached was willing to take on the Pole, which had to be displayed indoors.

Peel Holdings own both MediaCityUK and, since last year, the Lowry Outlet Mall where the restoration of the Pole first took place in a shop unit so the public could watch... "I asked them several times over several years but they thought it wasn't right for them" Councillor Coen told the Salford Star this afternoon. Peel notoriously re-branded MediaCityUK as being in `Manchester' recently (see here) and has been getting an average of £1million per month in public money over the last year (see here).

The Lowry art centre itself, subsidised by Salford Council, was also approached but declined the offer… "I've done an exhaustive search of buildings in the old Docks area without success, I've been trying to get it on the Quays but couldn't" Councillor Coen explained.

Now there is a proposal to house the Totem Pole inside the new £5million Swinton Gateway building, and Salford's eight Community Committees have been approached to fund the £30,000 costs, at £3,750 each, with the Gateway developer, Kier, contributing any shortfall.

Irlam and Cadishead Community Committee has already refused the application, which was submitted by Salford Council Culture and Leisure Team, on the grounds that `in the current climate this is not a priority'.

"To save the Pole and have it in a building that's what these things cost" explained Councillor Coen "I'm not an engineer or a builder, and it's a unique project, there's no manual out there saying what to do with a totem pole. The Pole has been recognised now by Canadian Government and British Museum as a fine piece of work, and they advise that it should be inside, because if it was outside it wouldn't last long in the elements

"Manchester Museum requested the Pole and I'd rather it was in Swinton, Salford, than Manchester" he added "At least we've got an option to put it inside a building, a public building, and it's the best I could find. It's going to be a library and a health centre and is open to the public and that seems to be the only option that we have. Putting it in Swinton gives the artwork access to a wider community.

"It's not what I would have loved but it's the best result I could get" he said "Ideally the Pole would have been on the Quays, and I can understand that people will be angry that it's not on the Quays, but it hasn't been there since 2005 – it was in Kent..."

The only sight of the Totem Pole on Salford Quays will now probably be through the £150,000 mobile phone app that Quays Culture is developing with between £50,000 and £100,000 of Salford Council money (see here). It will join the blue Quays cargo cranes as a virtual ghost on the former Docks `heritage trail' that Mayor Ian Stewart is so keen to develop.

Maybe it will have a map too, pointing out Swinton as the place to go to see Salford Quays culture.

Main photo shows Kevin Cranmer performing a ritual over the pre-restored Totem Pole at the Lowry Outlet Mall in 2009

East Salford Resident wrote
at 14:44:22 on 21 November 2013
Budget sub groups only make reccommendations whether or not to fund applications. It is then up to voting members of Community Committee to ratify these decisions. I certainly hope the decision re the Totem Pole is reversed at tha CC meeting next week. It is not a Community Priority.
 
do they care wrote
at 06:24:27 on 21 November 2013
East Salford Community committee agreed £2.7k funding towards this even though its going to placed in walkden! Is transport included in this project? Really struggling to see connections between community priorities and this untimely project. What happens if other community committees refuse funding like Irlam did? Who will pay maintenance for next 100 yrs? lets not mention the Cranes eh as no Councillor was very vocal in there opposition to the demolition that occurred. Does anyone know the full costs of the Totem Pole Project, outside of this application?
 
Cappy Hamper wrote
at 18:44:24 on 08 November 2013
Interesting how the balance of comments about this is rather different to that of the cranes. Steve Coen has obviously taken this one on and good for him. The real shame is that no Quays businesses would take it; but then, there aren't a huge number that spring to mind as great options. The Manchester Liners building is a closed shop, so no point trying in there. The Open Centre at MediaCity would have been nice; they have the height, just move the Tardis. But then, it's Peel, so no surprises they got a no. Victoria Building out for the same reason. The Lowry or IWMN... now that could have worked in a gallery space. Personally, if it can't go on the Quays I think it should go to the Manchester Museum. It would be properly looked after, displayed appropriately, get more interested visitors and they actually want it. Would probably save the council the cash.
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 18:43:17 on 08 November 2013
Paul is quite right one Councillor per ward is quite enough. For with 3 Councillors their is to much buck passing .Where I live just Getting in touch with one is hard I could get an Audience with the Pope easier.Then Add to the Wages bill The Mayor and his Crew Then add the High Rolling Advisors then add the Managers who still work under the councils Wage Structure even though there Departments have been Privatised . Then add the inspectors. The list is endless. Sometimes your complaint IF it is dealt with/ It Has to go through most of this lot/Just to get simple tasks seen to./ To say it is far to top heavy is putting it mildly.We need more injuns and a lot less Chiefs.
 
Paul wrote
at 12:39:00 on 08 November 2013
Michael felse, more interesting than the Mary rose, national treasure, worth a billion, now we know your talking through you arse. Didn't take long to start kissing labour's arse again, as for this piece of wood, who gives a sh*t, theirs more important things to spend tax payers money on.
 
Nigel Sykes wrote
at 20:51:18 on 07 November 2013
Why do they not put it for where it was intended?. The middle of The Old Docks or Media City?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 15:05:18 on 07 November 2013
I saw the excellent restored Totem Pole at Salford Outlet exhibit a year ago. It is a National Treasure, much more interesting than The Mary Rose in London. The exhibit should be in the National History Museum and uniquely valued and insured at £1billion. As for Cllr Steve Coen I hope he stands as Mayor for Labour next time around - he is a real man of vision and he would get my vote.
 
Paul wrote
at 15:04:19 on 07 November 2013
Councillor Coen has got to much time on his hands, needs to do the job he is being paid to do and that is to look after the people who pay his and all the other under worked parasites that call them selves councillors. One councillor per ward, this will keep them busy.
 
wrote
at 03:15:07 on 07 November 2013
So, the community is given money in one hand and is then expected to hand it over without a peep to fund what can only be described as a Cllrs pet project. Cllr Coen originally approached the CC"s for funding for the restoration project....no long term plan to secure its future placement and no plan B if these businesses had no inclination to fund it....stupid, stupid, stupid! Instead of asking each CC to give over £3K-why don't you ask them to approve the use of Citywide section 106 money to fund it.. must be plenty of it swilling around from all the developments being thrown up around the landing and hotel etc...failing all else perhaps he Gateway builder Keir could contribute the £33k shortfall as offered!
 
Pete Martin wrote
at 03:15:01 on 07 November 2013
Credit to Steve Coen for saving the pole in the first place. It was a gift to the people of Salford from Furness Withy, owners of the now defunct Manchester Liners. They offered the pole to Salford as it was part of Salford's heritage but some member of the council/officer of the council turned it down. When Steve discovered this he asked if anyone knew where the pole was and my brother, who was Salford's Conservation Officer at the time, told him exactly where it was - in a warehouse in Ipswich. Since then Steve has worked tirelessly to have it restored and to find a place for it to be re-erected so that Salford people now and in the future, will be able to appreciate it.
 
Alexander James Valliant wrote
at 03:14:41 on 07 November 2013
Wow!!!!! Salford Quay's in ten years is going to be the only place in the U.K. where a smartphone and a scanning app will be needed to see any historical monuments of interest. It beggers belief that the Salford Council have decided against putting this unique piece of sculptured art, within the boundaries of Salford Quay's. I would love to hear the Mayor's reasoning for this decision. Oops, I forgot, he is still hiding behind his spin doctors, and legal team. Why don't the Salford Council go all the way and get rid of everything in Salford Quays like the Media City. We can turn that into a Virtual App, then we can all save loads on our TV license. But seriously the Salford Council are ruining what should be a place of culture and history. I think it's about time the Salford Council started to think about the long term effects of their bad decisions.
 
Salford onion wrote
at 03:14:26 on 07 November 2013
Can I have this piece of wood for bonfire night topped with a couple of guy Fawkes who pose as the mayor and local Councillors. The money spent on this junk should have gone to the crannies which are far more meaningful to our heritage than a piece of carved wood. Is this all coen harps on about what about tackling the mad mayor and the money given to peel!
 
harry wilson wrote
at 20:31:18 on 06 November 2013
to who it may consuned iwould like to say that the totem pole sould be kept on the docks because it is one of the things that belongs to heritage trail of SALFORD DOCKS
 
wrote
at 20:31:05 on 06 November 2013
As expected it just confirms what everyone with the exception of SCC already knows-if there"s no profit to be gained, these companies that gobble up a raft of council freebies/incentives-call it what you will,to make a profit for their shareholders- they aint interested in anything "Salford". You couldn't make it up!
 
darren smith wrote
at 20:30:57 on 06 November 2013
what a wast of money
 
Ann. Myall wrote
at 20:30:48 on 06 November 2013
As someone who has lived in Canada for 36 years, I returned to Salford. I have found that although everyone knows a lot about the U.S. There is not much interest in Canada. It is a shame because Canadians love the UK and many of the peple from this area now live in Ontario. My cousin Alan was a merchant seaman and often travelled there on the ships from Salford docks. In 1911 because the boys in my grandfathers family could not get work, my Grand dad went into the full time army with his brother. my great grand parents took the rear of the family to livr in Toronto . Why the totem cannot be kept in Trafford puzzles me it is an important link to our past. I hope people will make their views known ty
 
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