My apologies to top fellow and friend of the blog David Hodgkinson, as quite frankly, I forgot this one, and it’s quite important for Staffordshire Hoard fans and local historians alike. It seems there a visiting exhibition, coming soon to Chasewater, and more plans for a Hoard monument afoot.
I’d point out from the outset that my views on the Hoard haven’t changed at all. I know it’s controversial, but I still think we’ve probably got the better arrangement at the moment, and some of the willy-waving silliness over it just depresses me.
I think (and always have) that recording the location of the find is a great idea, and welcomed Brian Stringer’s idea, particularly in light of the views of the landowner. However, my ambivalence to pointless statuary is also well recorded, and if I’m honest, rather than erecting some monument in Lichfield or at Chasewater, why not put the money into education or local history resources, rather than just something for pigeons to perch on?
About the only recent local sculpture I’d give a light for is Burntwood’s Scamp, precisely because of the local connections. I do, of course, love Morris Miner, but I’m still eagerly waiting for the regeneration he was going to kickstart…
David, as ever, does an excellent job of explaining himself, so I’ll let him tell you all about it.
David Hodgkinson wrote:
You may already have spotted this item that announces that the Hoard is coming to Brownhills – well, a bit of it for a few weeks anyway.
31 August – 15 September Hammerwich Community Centre, Hammerwich
17 – 30 September Chase Terrace Technology College, Burntwood (Please note: the exhibition is open to students and their families only)
2 October – 27 October Chasewater Innovation Centre
Along the same lines – yesterday I went to a meeting of the Burntwood Chase Heritage Group to see a DVD of the making and unveiling of the SCAMP pitman and pony memorial. A well liked but expensive bit of work. It was mentioned that the sculptor and local groups are hoping to produce a memorial to the Gold Hoard. The basic plan would be something ‘near to the site but outside the Hammerwich boundary – possibly a Saxon figure at Chasewater.’ So not quite in Brownhills and not within sight of the Hoard field.
My thought is that there is only so much cash available from donations, sponsorship and grants for competing projects to suck up. If the project suggested by The Clayhanger Kid for a marker at the site of the find is not under way soon will any cash that may be floating about be directed elsewhere?
With a bit of background below but no bright ideas on how to raise funding,
David points out that the vexed question of a public monument to the Hoard has been covered back in January on the excellent Lichfield Live:
Jan 29, 2013 by Ross
A businessman and artist have joined together to create a permanent marker highlighting the discovery of The Staffordshire Hoard.
Robert Carr and sculptor Peter Walker are heading up a team which is designing a monument to celebrate the Anglo-Saxon finds.
The Burntwood-based artist is aiming to help create a permanent sculpture commemorating the local connection to the Hoard, which was found in a field in Hammerwich.
He has recently been involved in a project to create the Scamp memorial to honour Burntwood’s mining past, while his Erasmus Darwin statue has also gone on display in Beacon Park.
Local councillor Susan Woodward has lent her support to the bid to create the new artwork and has urged other residents to get involved.
‘Burntwood has a lot to shout about but for too long we’ve been treated as a poor relation and, let’s be honest, have acted like one.
‘This initiative provides a great opportunity for us to celebrate our history and also look to promoting our town for the future. I hope every Burntwood resident will get behind this exciting plan.’
The project will see the creation of Hoard-related artworks developed in and around Burntwood, with a major “large scale” piece planned to symbolise the significance of the discovery site.
‘We have been looking at the concept of creating this artwork since The Hoard was discovered in 2009, and have been undertaking much of the background work to get this project moving forward,’ said Mr Carr, director of fine art and jewellery sales firm Rock 34. ‘As a businessman I see such initiatives as key in focusing attention back on the place where the Hoard was discovered and key in future tourism plans to develop the offer of the area.
‘Public art is invaluable in helping to focus attention on the important factors of our heritage and these artworks will be long term investments in the area.’
I’d be interested to hear reader thoughts on this. I realise my views are probably not those of the majority, so feel free to state yours. After all, that’s what this blog is for…
Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.