Inspiration for the sculpture

Salford has long been an innovative and inspirational city with its wealth of history and world firsts. Rodgers uses the horse to embody Salford's relationship with the first horse drawn bus service; the underground colliery and canal systems; and the first horse drawn tramway.

Inspiration for the sculpture

Salford has a unique past and an exciting future. A city with rich history and significant world firsts.
When creating this piece, Rodgers’ main aim was to bring together and celebrate these firsts in one piece, offering an opportunity to discover, explore and reflect on Salford’s fascinating and inspiring stories. This has long been a city that paved the way with a wealth of innovation, creativity and ideas that shaped the society we live in today.
The sculpture’s focal point is the horse which has a long relationship with the city of Salford, working in the underground colliery and canal systems. Salford was the first city to have a horse drawn bus service and most significantly the horse is a physical representation of ‘horse power’. He rests patiently by the lamp post: a bronzed representation of the first gas lit street lights, just a few steps away on Chapel Street. The name Salford derives from an Old English word meaning willows by the ford and this is symbolised by the entwined trees at the top of the lamp post.
Train tracks run along the bridle, weaving through the lamp post with canal systems and rope following Salford’s industrial journey through time. From the base of the lamp post to the mane of the horse, books rest within the sculpture representing the first free public library in the United Kingdom. Each book features a story of this great city.
The artist hopes you enjoy exploring the celebration of Salford’s unique place in history and exciting future.