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Spitfire artwork soars over Grosvenor Park flower beds

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Four willow spitfire sculptures have taken pride of place, soaring over flower beds in Chester’s Grosvenor Park.

The planes were commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s environment commissioning team through the park’s Heritage Lottery Fund activity plan.

They were built during the summer through a series of workshops organised to mark this year’s centenary of the RAF.

Local artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes led the seven free workshops, which were attended by families, veterans and primary school pupils.

They all helped to weave the willow through the sculptures to create the planes. The workshops also produced willow poppies which have been planted around the park.

As part of the project the council’s StreetCare teams planted floral displays with bands of red, white blue and gold to mimic the famous spitfire roundel colours.

Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon, attending a launch event for the artwork, said: “I would like to thank Sarah for her beautiful designs and for bringing our ideas to life – and also a big thank you to the fantastic year five and six pupils from University Church Free School who took part in the workshops to construct the mini designs around it.”

Cllr Dixon added: “Thank you all for attending today’s launch event. I’m sure that our residents and visitors will really enjoy the spitfires and poppies as works of art in their own right, but they will also remind them of the fantastic contribution the RAF has made to our country over the last 100 years.”

StreetCare staff will soon be replacing the summer bedding with winter planting, and the spitfire sculptures will remain in place until the spring.

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