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Shropshire Knife Angel centre in plan for new sculpture to celebrate NHS staff

By Dominic Robertson | Oswestry | Coronavirus | Published:

The centre behind the stunning Knife Angel wants to create a national monument celebrating the heroic efforts of NHS staff.

LAST COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD- 09/03/20.The knife angel sculpture appears to be looking over children from Old Park Primary school, Malinslee, as the visit the sculpture at Southwater..

Clive Knowles, chairman of the British Ironwork Centre outside Oswestry, said they had come up with a concept for the sculpture, but want the opinion of the public on how the country's health workers should be recognised.

The centre was behind the creation of the Knife Angel, a monument against violence created by artist Alfie Bradley out of knives donated to police forces across the country.

The Knife Angel has been touring the country raising awareness of knife and violent crime – its most recent stop was at Southwater in Telford.

Now Mr Knowles says the new monument – which he hopes will be made of scrap surgical metalwork – could tour the country's hospitals as a symbolic thank you to health workers.

He said: "We envisage that the monument will travel from hospital to hospital, staying in each area, for sufficient time to ensure every NHS worker has the opportunity to receive the nations thanks personally.

The concept for the latest work

"We’ve gained the necessary experience in recent years over both building a national monument and organising a national tour, currently our most famous monument calling for social change known as the Knife Angel, is touring the UK.

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"Other examples demonstrating our commitment to the NHS already stand outside the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – a heart sculpture celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS – and the Royal Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, which is home to the Percy the Peacock sculpture.

"We have already received many messages of support from NHS workers and nurses, asking for this national applause and appreciation to be immortalised within a national thank you monument.

Percy the Peacock is unveiled at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital

"We would love to hear as many thoughts and ideas, contributed from across the nation, as possible, in order to create something of national love and everlasting gratitude for those that are protecting us now, and in some cases actually making the ultimate sacrifice in losing their life to save ours.

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"There also an ambition that we can include the names of all hospitals contributing, within this national monument."

Mr Knowles said they had an initial concept from county artist Luke Kite, which would be used for feedback and "to provoke thought". He asked people to to send in their own ideas and opinions on the monument.

The unveiling of the heart sculpture celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Mr Knowles said letters of invitation to partner the creation will be sent to hospitals across the country as well as governmental departments, requesting co-operation needed to gather their scrap and unwanted surgical metalwork.

He added: "Any individual or enterprise wishing to help with materials, the build, the national tour transport arrangements, are all most welcome to get involved."

Anyone wanting to give feedback on the plan can do so by e-mailing info@britishironworkcentre.co.uk

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