New First World War sculpture placed in Seaham

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A SOLDIER has taken up his new post on a town’s seafront.

The 9½ft-high steel sculpture has been placed on the Terrace Green, in Seaham, under the watchful eye of creator Ray Lonsdale.

His latest piece, called 1101, was built to reflect a serviceman’s expression in the moments after peacetime was declared.

The South Hetton sculptor has worked alongside Seaham Town Council to plan a three-month display under the shadow of the cenotaph, with a celebration event planned for Monday, August 4, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The exhibit is part of an initiative to help artists put work on show and bring in visitors to give businesses a boost.

The council has been inundated with good feedback since it announced through the Echo that the sculpture would go on show.

Deputy town clerk Paul Fletcher, said: “It’s been amazing.

“Ray’s had lots of interest from across the country and I think it’s going to be a positive for his career.

“We’re trying to encourage any artists to come to Seaham to display, especially local ones, and support them, whether that’s through staff or trying to help them with sponsorship, to put them on the map, and Seaham on the map, and we’ve already achieved that here.”

There have been calls to make the display of 1101 a full-time fixture, but Mr Fletcher said the aim of the project was to ensure no cost was passed on to the taxpayer.

“We can try and support anyone who wants this, but we haven’t got the money to make it permanent, but if people want to campaign for public donations, that will be something we can look at,” he added.

“But we also see this as being a changing art landscape, and that’s what we aim to do.”

A Seaham-born woman living in London has donated £50 to help cover the £500 transport costs of 1101, adding to cash from Seaham’s University of the Third Age and other backers.

Anyone who would like to support the appeal can call the council on 581 8034.




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