Situated behind the town hall, the Stockton Flyer is a fantastic automated mechanical sculpture, designed and built by engineer Rob Higgs. Like something from an H. G. Wells novel, it rises from within the giant stone plinth that houses it, clanging, hooting, steaming and chuffing for a full 15 minutes every day at 1pm (even puffing out smoke rings!). Commissioned by Stockton Borough Council in 2013 to commemorated the town's railway and industrial past, the Flyer was officially unveiled on the 12th of June 2016 on the Queen's 90th birthday. The Infinite Town, a poem by Stocktonian poet, Mark Robinson is carved into the Flyer's stone plinth and was commissioned in 2015 as part of the regeneration of Stockton High Street.
Rob Higgs is a mechanical sculptor, automata maker and inventor. Based in Penryn in Corwall, he designs and creates mechanical sculptures, contraptions and eccentric machines, using salvaged materials found in old farmsteads, boatyards and scrapheaps. Rob's extensive list of clients include, the Science Museum, the Eden Project, the Sultan of Brunei, the BBC, Warner Bros, Fatboy Slim, Stephen Fry, Heston Blumenthal, schools, parks, theatre groups, charities and, of course, Stockton Borough Council, who commissioned the building of the Stockton Flyer in 2013.
The Infinite Town - Mark Robinson