Good News, So Far
To recap the project so far, CASPER stands for Coleshill Art Space Project Everyone Respects. It has a Delivery Group made up of Mayor, Councillor Tony Battle, in the Chair and representatives from the Town Council, Parish Church, a local artist, the Civic Society, the Coleshill School, Love Coleshill and the Coleshill Post.
The Delivery Group has agreed to work with Peter Walker, who is the Artist in Residence at Lichfield Cathedral. He specialises in sculpting in hard metal, such as bronze.
There is an agreed crowd funded amount that is for a corten steel and bronze sculpture of around 11 feet in total height. It will be unique to Coleshill and capturing 2-3 key themes of the town’s history and heritage. The Delivery Group has seen the sketched idea but are keeping it a secret. The Borough Council has an agreement for it to be sited for a £1 rent per annum at the former coin-operated toilet site. The plan is to remove the grill bars but retain the front wall, as it provides separation from the road.
There is going to be an unveiling on 22 September but the Delivery Group is to work with various organisations to turn the day into a CASPER Family Fun Day. This will be a co-ordinated day of activity with a number of organisations all helping:
- A Food Festival theme in the town, plus other entertainment (e.g. through an events agency).
- Parish Church with bell tower visits, teas and cakes for sale.
- Coleshill School students involved in the town or the Croft.
- Coleshill Scouts – also involved in the town or the Croft.
- Green & Yellow Heritage Trail walks (see below) during the day.
- Catering businesses booked to support the food and drink.
Then the Appeal!
The statue itself is fully funded on a ‘collaborative’ arrangement. In other words, by working with the sculptor, we are getting it for less than normal cost. However, the Delivery Group and Peter Walker jointly filled out an application for further funding from the Arts Council that has been unsuccessful.
We now need to appeal to businesses, voluntary organisations and residents to help further. The Delivery Group is making a fresh appeal for some additional business sponsorship or donations. These are needed for:
Light show As part of the sculpture promotion, we want to project a show of Coleshill’s heritage onto the wall of the parish church, on the side nearest to the Croft. As the Arts Council bid application was unsuccessful, we need to fund it other ways if we want it as part of the 22 September events.
Carved wooden benches. Dan Green, local wood carver has agreed to part-subsidise this but we need to finance the other part!
Entertainment. For the Family Fun Day, we need to hire bouncy castles and other attractions or pay for agents who can provide them.
Under-lighting. This was also suggested for below the statue but that would need separate funding to be possible.
Heritage Tour Markers. More of this below, but we need individual sponsors for 12 bronze, brass or wooden historic interest markers to be fixed around a trail.
If you are able to help on any of these, any donations can be taken via the Town Council offices now and do not suffer any crowd funder fees. We are looking for small note donations from residents and something of a few hundred pounds from businesses. Contact Colin or Megan at the offices or phone 01655 463326.
Heritage Trail (“Green and Yellow Tours”)
There is a separate application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Heritage Trail (“Green and Yellow Tours” with the colour combination based on the town crest and bus shelter colours). The decision on this HLF application is expected in mid-June but we have to assume this might not be successful as well. We are looking at ways the trails could be started without funds (e.g. brass pieces onto wooden posts or features that Tame Valley Wetlands might provide). This would be as a last resort and perhaps the cheaper markers could be replaced over time with better quality designs as money was raised.
As described above, the High Street site location for the main sculpture will have two (or possibly three) of the town’s preferred themes. The Delivery Group are keen on the idea of having guides in green and yellow attire, taking these Heritage Tourism Trail tours, with markers which depict other points of the town’s heritage. Therefore, there could be a small stagecoach wheel, teacup, elephant, Roman centurion, highwayman mask, etc. all dotted around a 2-mile circuit of the town. This is subject to landowners’ permissions.
Ideally a rota of 3-4 Green and Yellow Guides would be needed which might be in exchange for tips or a small fee. We already have some people offering to be tour guides. However, again, please get in touch with Colin or Megan as below if you know someone wanting to get involved as a tour guide on a voluntary or small fee basis. The idea would be that the tour detail would be provided to the guides in a file form, so you don’t need to know it all.
Colin Greatorex /Megan Davies 01675 463326