This is the Angel of the North.
It is a steel sculpture standing 20 m tall, with a wingspan of 54 m and completed in 1998. Beneath its outstretched wings coal miners used to toil underground for two centuries.
Unpopular when first built in Gateshead, in Tyneside, it has since grown on the locals. It is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world, seen by more than one person every second; 33 million in a year.
You pass the Angel when you travel between Newcastle and Durham. I travelled this route four times by train, from Scotland to Yorkshire, and to Aldeburgh, and back again, on my recent UK trip.
The first time I totally missed it, even though I was looking out of my train window for ages. I think I caught a glimpse of it rapidly disappearing behind me, but I didn’t get a photo.
On my return up North, I was ready with my camera, but unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the carriage. Still, this is the shot I got.
What do you mean, you can’t see anything?
You see that blur there? I’m pretty sure that’s the Angel!
On my second trip down South, I travelled by train with my daughter DD, while my daughter Pix drove.
Pix snapped a great shot of the Angel as she passed by it in the car.
I don’t know what happened that third time I passed the Angel, but on the return trip it was pitch black, as our train was running five hours late. Yes, five hours! We got back to Edinburgh at 1 am the next morning; total journey time 15 hours! – but that’s another story!
So, I hear you all ask, how did I manage to get the superb photo shown at the beginning of this post?
You’re not going to believe this, but I found it in a loo!
There was a poster of the Angel put up on the wall inside the toilet on the last train I rode on. I got out my trusty Galaxy cell phone and snapped a photo.
And if it wasn’t for the tell-tale bolt in the sky you’d never know!