TWO bronze ‘peace’ sculptures have been unveiled in Warrington – 25 years after two IRA bombs killed 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, and injured more than 50 other people.
Intended to represent the road travelled towards peace and reconciliation since that fateful spring day in 1993, the project is the culmination of five year’s work behind the scenes led by local councillor Mike Hannon.
It was Cllr Hannon who, in the aftermath of the tragedy, pushed hardest to bring colour and communal space back to the town centre, and who pulled together a group of willing people to provide a permanent memorial in another prominent town centre location.
Early in 2013 local artists Andy Shaw and Sharon Kelly were approached by Penketh South primary school headteacher Angela Grace, with a proposal to work with twenty local primary schools to create a mural focusing on the theme of love, hope, peace and reconciliation. The children’s artwork became the inspiration for the two bronze sculptures: ‘Pocket full of love’ and ‘Rainbow of hope’.
Cllr Hannon said: “This year, with the 25th anniversary commemoration and the recent TV drama, has for many people brought back memories of Warrington and the terrible events of 1993. For many other people those memories will never go away.
“The story of our journey since then has been one of peace and reconciliation, and that’s what these sculptures represent.
“Angela Grace and the schoolchildren have been inspirational, and even though the children involved will now be at secondary school we’d love to see them come along to Golden Square for the unveiling.
“Children’s concepts have turned creation thanks to Andrew Shaw from Fine Art Studios, and the support from The Holroyd Foundation, Warrington Borough Council and Golden Square itself has been invaluable.
“The location within Golden Square has a large footfall, and hopefully many people who pass-by will take time out of their busy lives to pause and reflect when they see the installation.”
Sited close to the Golden Square escalators, the sculptures were unveiled by members of the Parry family and local school children from Penketh South Primary School.