Re: Wind speed
Oh, how I well remember the furore in all the local rags around the time of its proposal and construction, and for a time after. I fear all this negative media attention may have indelibly biased some people's opinions of the angel, such that they're now incapable of seeing any merit in the thing, and it's quite possible that, had I remained in the NE and never found myself with reason to see the angel on a regular basis, my feelings for it may well have remained biased to some extent by all the unjustified hatred shown towards it.
Having now lived outside of the NE for just over 20 decades however, the angel has become a regular and very much appreciated visual indication that I'm "back home" whenever we now drive up there to see my folks, and since the demolition of the Tinsley cooling towers, there isn't really any other striking visual clue provided along the way to say "you're in the north now".
And despite (or perhaps because of it) seemingly having been born without whatever particular strand of DNA is responsible for giving people the abiltiy to "get" art, I really do like the angel in its own right as well - from afar it has a majestic appearance, particularly when silhouetted against the otherwise blank canvas of a clear sky, and up close it's particularly impressive not just as an example of how sometimes with art, size really does matter, but also from an engineering perspective - knowing how much effort went into making sure it would stay put despite providing two very large surfaces against which the wind is more than happy to push.