A damaged sculpture of a heroic soldier from Wolstanton has been restored to its former glory thanks to the generosity of a local resident.
The Council has repaired the wood carving – honouring Tom Brown Tivey who fought in the First World War – and reinstated it at the award winning Brampton Park following a kind donation from regular visitor Colin Hepher.
Mr Hepher, who walks his dog at the park, contacted the Council recently to enquire about the popular sculpture and subsequently offered a financial contribution to help fix it.
The 6ft 4in model had to be removed for safety reasons as the weather had weakened the base. It was creatively carved from the stump of a horse chestnut tree by sculptor Anthony Hammond as part of a joint project between the Council and the North Staffs Model Engineering Society – which runs the miniature railway at the park – to commemorate the centenary of World War One.
Tom courageously fought for the North Staffordshire Regiment, the Leicester Regiment and the Northumberland Fusiliers.
Colin unveiled the reinforced carving in its new location, closer to the metal sculpture of borough-born author, feminist and war nurse Vera Brittain, late last week.
The 67-year-old said: “I moved to the area in 2018 and I’ve enjoyed visiting Brampton Park ever since. It’s a beautiful place – like an extended garden. Every morning I’d see Tom and it would remind me of my visit to the war graves in Belgium which was a very moving experience. “Then one day he just disappeared. After a period of time I decided to contact the Council to find out what had happened to him. I was really happy to fund the repair work because it means residents and visitors can enjoy seeing him again. It’s a fantastic piece of art and I’m glad I could do something to help.”
Cllr. Jill Waring, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, added: “I’m absolutely delighted that the sculpture of Tom Brown Tivey is back in its rightful place. It’s lovely to see him standing proud in our beautiful park once again. It’s a very fitting tribute to a local war hero and has certainly been missed.
“I would like to thank Mr Hepher for his very generous donation. It’s a very kind gesture and hopefully it means that visitors will be able to enjoy this thought-provoking masterpiece for many years to come.”