This painting fuses a contemporary style with the history upon which hebden bridge and the wider north of England is founded .
The bridge and the barge metophorically represent the journey from the past to the present and beyond .
The steam train, as a pivotal image of industry, also conveys this metaphor of travelling through time that permeates every aspect of this painting .
The painting is constructed not as a literal landscape, but as a jigsaw of changing society and past and present are juxtaposed. Images of people are used to give history a human appeal. The lone chimney sweep and the passengers in the carriage each tell their own story of life during the industrial revolution .
Again this offset by the more contemporary images, such as the traditional 'bobby on the beat,' showing this fluid movement through time and space .
The central image in the painting is that of Sir Robert Peel who served twice as Prime Minister, he established what formed the basis of modern policing with the Peelers and is also associated with Northern Industry , being a Bury Man from Lancashire .
He stands proud amid the changing landscape around him . The fact that he is immortalised as a statue represents the permanence of changes that he introduced.
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