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Heading to Work (Posted On: Friday, March 03, 2006)

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On September 6, 2000 a lunch reception was held by the Collingwood mural committee to reunite former shipyard workers. There were displays of memorabilia and the unveiling of the designs for the murals commemorating the years of shipbuilding in Collingwood. This reunion was especially significant for the second mural, "Heading Dockside".

Heading Dockside, depicts the workers from the Collingwood Shipyards heading to work on foot and bicycle as they did every morning for over 100 years. The mural even includes Gordon (Steamer) Clark playing his saxophone. (Clark, a well known local Character, was renound for his ability to build almost anything, including his own working models of steam ships.)

Heading Dockside, is located on the east side of the Shipyards Sales Office at the corner of St. Marie and First Streets. Painted by local artist Beverly Smith this 35 x 35 foot mural was created on board in the artist studio/barn in Clarksburg, using acrylic paint. When completed the panels were transported to Collingwood and attached to the building using wood strapping. As many of these pieces are shaped, it gives a dimensional effect to the work. "It is a wonderful project that can really bring history to life," said Smith, who has had to disguise several air vents as objects in the mural.

This mural gives a whimsical look at the men and women who headed daily to the shipyards to build the ships. It includes the town clock tower and the shipyard whistle blowing calling for all to start the days building. It acts as a reminder to the days when a thousand people were employed at the ship yard, and it truly was the center of activity for the town.

The ship yard closed in 1986, changing the industrial landscape of the town. The shipyard property is poised to undergo another transformation as construction of the shipyard condominium development is about to begin this spring. Bringing life and activity back to the waterfront.

Submitted by Margot Nicolson-Trott
Owner, Georgian Frame Gallery


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