The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie

Back to Locomotives



It's 25 years since a straw locomotive hung from the Finnieston Crane. It was on the fourth of May, 1987 that it arrived there and it hung, suspended for just a few weeks until it was taken to Springburn on June twenty-second and burned there in a Viking ceremony, marking the loss of the locomotive industry which had once flourished there.

Locomotives suspended from the crane had once been an impressive and familiar sight. The Straw Locomotive hung there for seven short weeks but somehow suspended in time. Most people who saw George Wyllie's Straw Locomotive, still remember it.

"I am unable to explain the 'Straw Locomotive'.
I enjoy the saying of it, the writing of it, the very idea of it... the making of it...
Today, in Springburn, industry is at a low ebb... What has happened?
The 'Straw Locomotive' can ask questions but cannot give answers."

George Wyllie (1987)

Planning The Straw Locomotive
Creating The Straw Locomotive
The Straw Locomotive at Finnieston
The Straw Locomotive brought back to Springburn

*Scottish Schools GW Archive

Locomotive industry on the Clyde

George Wyllie Education Initiative

Managed by Media Matters Education Consultancy