Rare dragonfly fossils found in Bolsover colliery in 1978 inspires town's sculpture trail

Metal dragonflies inspired by rare fossil finds in a Derbyshire colliery nearly half a century ago form a sculpture trail through Bolsover.

By Gay Bolton
Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:18 am
Updated Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:22 am
Spot the dragonfly sculptures on a trail in Bolsover until March 2022.

Eighteen artworks, some which have been vibrantly hand painted at community workshops and others that will rust for a more natural effect, have been placed inside and out.

The sculpture trail takes its theme from the discovery of 500-million-year-old dragonfly fossils 3,000ft underground at Bolsover Colliery in 1978. A miner found the fossil of a dragonfly wing with a half-metre span in a piece of coal on the roof of the tunnel. The fossils are now in the National History Museum in London.

Families can have fun following the trail until March. Leaflets are available from Bolsover Castle, Bolsover library or Old Bolsover Yard.

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Metal dragonfly, which is unpainted, will rust over time for a more natural effect.

Project manager Jane Wells, from Junction Arts, said: “With the help of the sculpture trail leaflet people can explore the town looking for the dragonflies before collecting their prize from the town centre library or castle.”

Junction Arts will also be running a day of fun for all ages in Bolsover on Saturday, February 12, in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. There will be a Love Busk during the day, with buskers in various locations around the town featuring different kinds of music and performances. As the light fades, the town will be lit up by projections from Different Light Collective.

One of the projections will be made by Bolsover residents, created from submissions using a love heart template that can be downloaded from https:junctionarts.org. Drawings must be returned to Bolsover Library or Junction Arts at West Studios, Chesterfield, by January 31, 2022.

Junction Arts was commissioned by Bolsover District Council to deliver several projects financed by England European Regional Development Fund money to welcome back visitors to Bolsover town centre following its reopening after national lockdown.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.