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The One to Watch: Gormley Men

Antony Gormley's Another Place, the popular army of iron men on Crosby beach, is to stay, £1 million in fundraising permitting. But what's all the fuss about?

Published on March 9th 2007.

The One to Watch: Gormley Men

Gormley men. I've heard of them. They are the hardest men in north Liverpool. They are worth a load of money. Don't upset them, will you? Just calm down for a minute. We're not talking drug barons here, we're referring to Antony Gormley's 100 iron “barons” of art who look out to sea and make up the installation Another Place.

Not them again! The iron men of Waterloo beach are a danger to society. Only if you are a bar tailed godwit.

Charming! And what if I am? Well you are outnumbered, I'm afraid, little birdie - and your supporters, the RSPB. For Antony Gormley's statues, made from casts of his own body, have not only planted themselves firmly in the sand, but also in the hearts of the people of Merseyside and beyond. So it looks like you're going to have to get used to them.

Coo. Tell me more. The men had spent 18 months on the beach and were due to move to New York, but the Liverpool Biennial people had started raising money to keep them. Then Sefton councillors decided, last November, to give the men their marching orders after concerns were raised by birdwatchers, line fishers and owners of small boats. But it was local councillor Debi Jones who really put the boot in.

A kick in the Gormleys, then? Well, it didn't do them any good.

Ah, yes. “Men to Move to Another Place”. The papers liked doing that headline didn't they? Indeed.Lots and lots of times. But now councillors have had a rethink, after a massive public outcry, and it looks like they're staying. Look forward to lots of “Men not moving to Another Place” headlines.

Weren't there some stick-in-the-muds afraid that people would get stuck in the mud? That was the Coastguard. To be fair, they still fear that people might end up in trouble on the soft sand if they try to reach the farthest ones. But notices will be put up, telling people not to be so sodding daft, and 19 of the statues are to move up to make room for emergency boat access.

What does Antony Gormley say? “It's wonderful that a piece of beach should become a permanent place of contemplation and reverie.”

Wasn't it that already? Behave. He means that's what the statues would say if they could talk.

You're scaring me now. Sorry,I was forgetting you were a bird.

What's the forecast for Liverpool Crosby then? Outlook: Moderate to good. A boost to the economy with “Another Plaice” chippies springing up and dinkie paperweights for visitors to take home

Not to be confused with: The Dickie Lewis statue....although maybe if they shove them all along a bit more...

» Click here for our related archive story from last November.

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TaffyMarch 8th 2007.

Re the Gormley statues at Crosby beach. Canyone tell me the best way of getting there from the city centre? By car.I dont live in Liverpool.

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