Four willow spitfire sculptures have taken pride of place soaring over flower beds in Chester’s Grosvenor Park.
The planes were commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Environment Commissioning Team through the Park’s Heritage Lottery Fund activity plan. They were built during the summer at a series of workshops organised to mark this year’s centenary of the RAF.
Local artist, Sarah Gallagher-Hayes, who runs her own company Twigtwisters, led seven free workshops that were attended by families, veterans and primary schools. They all helped to weave the willow through the sculptures to create the planes. The workshops also produced willow poppies which have been planted around the Park.
As part of the project the Council’s StreetCare teams planted floral displays with bands of red, white blue and gold to mimic the famous spitfire roundel colours.
Council Leader, Councillor Samantha Dixon, attending a launch event for the artwork, said: “I would like to thank Sarah for her beautiful designs and for bringing our ideas to life – and also a big thank you to the fantastic year five and six pupils from University Church Free School who took part in the workshops to construct the mini designs around it.
“Thank you all for attending today’s launch event. I’m sure that our residents and visitors will really enjoy the spitfires and poppies as works of art in their own right, but they will also remind them of the fantastic contribution the RAF has made to our country over the last 100 years.”
StreetCare staff will soon be replacing the summer bedding with winter planting. The sculptures will be in place until Spring 2019.