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First design in World War 1 trail in Bury St Edmunds is revealed

PUBLISHED: 09:41 08 November 2017

Pictured at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, is enginnering artist Denn Humphrey with his model of the serpentine bench and Sally Daniels, left and Claire Braker-Finch from the My WiSH charity

Pictured at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, is enginnering artist Denn Humphrey with his model of the serpentine bench and Sally Daniels, left and Claire Braker-Finch from the My WiSH charity

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The first imaginative and stunning design for the My WiSH charity’s First World War art trail in Bury St Edmunds has been revealed in the run up to Remembrance weekend.

A scaled down model of the serpentine bench and poppy A scaled down model of the serpentine bench and poppy

It is the culmination of hours of painstaking work and dedication by engineering artist Denn Humphrey and features a serpentine trench made of oak.

The work is being built by him at his Out of Our Tree workshop in Gosfield, near Halstead, and will be 4ft high and up to 25ft long, and features benches and wooden poppies of between 200mm and 700mm in diameter.

Each poppy can be purchased with a name, tribute or special message of dedication embedded. This poppy will then be returned to the buyer after the trail finishes. The money raised from both the poppies and the trail will be going to the My WiSH charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal.

A location for the bench has yet to be agreed but it is set to be in a prominent position in Bury.

The trial is being supported by Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement organisation in the town and also backed by the Royal British Legion. It will feature 18 pieces, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites and will be on show next year from July 23, through to Armistice Day, on November 11.

At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital.

At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital.

The appeal is aiming to raise £500,000 to help fund building a brand new cardiac centre at the hospital.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

The trail is to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1 and is aimed at creating community involvement

Mr Humphrey is also making an additional poppy bench and table plus a large oak remembrance book for the trail and he said: “With the serpentine bench I had this image of a trench and was able to recreate it in oak. I hope it will relate to a lot of people and hope that they will buy one of the wooden poppies.”

My WiSH fundraising manager Sue Smith said: “It’s going to be very exciting, it’s going to be bringing the community back together again and it’s going to allow our younger generation to become more aware of the First World War and what it means today, which I think is extremely important.”

And Mark Cordell, chief executive of Ourburystedmunds, said: “We wanted to build on the success of the Wolf Trail in 2015 which brought in over 15,000 people into the town and we wanted to do something similar and raise funds for a local charity.

“We are working with My WiSH Charity to mark the centenary of the conclusion of World War 1 and we are also keen to work with local artists and bring people together to outline the aspects of the War in mainland Europe and how it impacted on the people of Bury St Edmunds.

“It is also aimed at helping to raise the profile of the town nationally in regards of this important anniversary.”

Anyone wanting to purchase a wooden poppy or sponsor a piece of artwork should contact the team on 01284 712952 or fundraising@wsh.nhs.uk

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website www.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to

Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.

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