What to see
You’ll find accounts of Middlesbrough’s tourist attractions in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from firstname.lastname@example.org). For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Love Middlesbrough. For events to look out for go to Love Middlesbrough What’s On or Enjoy Tees Valley
Comment and colour
“Middlesbrough is a town in which you can stub your toe on art. In Ayresome Gardens your eye may be caught by a lump of metal in the grass. Is it? Might it be? Yes, it’s a pumpkin. And over there, is that an avocado? These are sculptor Andrew McKeown’s ‘world fruit’, a collection of cast-iron fruits and vegetables. Albert Park across the road is another source of rare treats. A statue of Brian Clough, with his boots slung over his shoulder, heads towards Ayresome Park. Beyond him, casually littering the grass as though left by a retreating glacier, are fragments known as the crystallisation sculpture.
“Next door at the Dorman Museum Middlesbrough is at its gracious generous best. The Dorman is free and informal. Downstairs there are spaces devoted to Middlesbrough themes; upstairs is the largest collection of Linthorpe Art Pottery on public display anywhere in the world. A room is devoted to the career of versatile designer Dr Christopher Dresser, a man whose mind’s eye clearly could not behold any household object without imagining a dramatic improvement. And the pièce de résistance, the H2O gallery, is “a discovery gallery for children based on the theme of water”. I thought I was the unwitting witness of an assisted suicide there. Set into the floor is a large-screen pond. Schools of silvery fish swim hither and thither. The people in front of me heedlessly wheeled an elderly woman in a wheelchair into the pond. Ripples spread across the screen and there was some shrieking, but the wheelchair was consumed not. The water in the screens reacts to a foot in the same way.
“See also Mima, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Victorian Middlesbrough draped around the railway station like a shawl concealing piano legs; the wall bearing Ian Horne’s Ironopolis poem; Anish Kapoor’s Temenos creation by the stadium; and the Tees Transporter Bridge.”
This is an extract from Towns of Two Halves.
Also in Middlesbrough:
Captain Cook Birthplace Museum
Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park