Eye-catching Covid memorial unveiled in ceremony to mark community sacrifices

A spectacular sculpture has been unveiled in Market Drayton as a Covid tribute memorial dedicated to National Health Service, care and key workers.

The unveiling of the tribute was attended by Shropshire's High Sheriff Selina Graham, Town Crier Geoff Russell, and Mia Freail and Phoebe Chamberlain from Longlands Primary School.
The unveiling of the tribute was attended by Shropshire's High Sheriff Selina Graham, Town Crier Geoff Russell, and Mia Freail and Phoebe Chamberlain from Longlands Primary School.

The sculpture, commissioned by the Market Drayton Community Enterprise Group and the Market Drayton Community Arts Festival team, was officially unveiled by the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Selina Graham.

More than 60 people attended the ceremony and watched the unveiling of the sculpture, which was made by Plymouth artist Kevin Nutley.

Pupils at the unveiling ceremony

Members of Longlands Primary School choir performed the Gary Barlow song Sing.

Suzanne Edwards, aged 78, from Market Drayton, who was the main project organiser, said: "The sculpture stands at the rear of the town library.

"The unveiling ceremony was watched by members from across the community including representatives of the NHS, care workers and key workers.

Crowds gathered to see the ceremony

"The sculpture, which cost £2,000 including transport and planning permissions, features three mahogany pillars with three different designs of stained glass embedded into them.

"These include a rainbow to represent the NHS, a panel of hearts in a spiral to represent care works and parallel lines to represent key workers who were making deliveries."

Shropshire High Sheriff Selina Graham at the unveiling

Mother-of-two Suzanne, who has five grandchildren, added: "It was a real thrill to see the sculpture unveiled.

"It has been a very long journey and this started when I received an email from people appealing for towns and villages to set up a tribute to Covid workers.

"The 2020 Arts Festival was cancelled because of the pandemic and prior to this five groups had said that they would raise money for the event.

Shropshire High Sheriff Selina Graham at the unveiling

"As the festival was cancelled we felt it was an appropriate way to honour those workers who did so much for the community.

"It was particularly pleasing that members of all sections of the local community who are represented by the sculpture were present to watch it being unveiled."

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