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New sculpture in Priory Memorial Gardens unveiled

A new sculpture at the centre of Priory Memorial Gardens in Royston was given the thumbs up this week when it was officially unveiled by Royston’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Vera Swallow on Wednesday 9 November.

North Hertfordshire District Council’s (NHDC) Cllr Peter Burt, Cllr Tony Hunter and Cllr Fiona Hill attended the event along with Royston Town Council’s Cllr Lindsay Davidson, town clerk Susan Thornton-Bjork, John O’Connor and members of his team who maintain the park.

The sculptor Dennis Heath, who also attended the ceremony, carved the art work from a purple Beech Tree which was vandalised in 2012.  The tree, which had been a firm favourite with users of the park, finally died this year after vandals removed a large section of bark, damaging it beyond repair.

NHDC which owns Priory Memorial Gardens, together with Royston Town Council’s Naturally Royston Working Party, worked in partnership to give the tree a new lease of life as a piece of public artwork. John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance also donated £1,500 towards the costs.

Cllr Peter Burt, NHDC’s Executive Member for Waste Recycling and Environment, said: “The sculpture is a wonderful way of salvaging at least some of the distinguished tree, and it is now a piece of public artwork that we hope will be admired in the gardens for years to come.”

Susan Thornton Bjork, Royston Town Clerk said: “It’s a wonderful way of salvaging part of the tree which has been in the Memorial Gardens since they were developed. It is very well carved with far more to look at when you get up close to it, I’m sure it will be admired by all who used the gardens.”

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