SCULPTURES celebrating the armed services, and reflecting the issues that current and ex military personnel face, will be officially unveiled at a Baildon beauty spot on Armed Forces Day.
The Yorkshire Armed Forces Sculpture Trail will is based at Ferniehurst Dell, and will become the district's latest attraction at its opening on June 28.
Featuring numerous sculptures by different artists and in different media, the trail was made possible thanks to a £75,000 grant from the Ministry of Defence, as well as sponsorship from various other sources, including Titus Salt School, the Armed Forces Community Covenant Committee, Baildon Town Council, Baildon Mechanics Institute and Bradford Council.
Plans for the trail were first drawn up by town councillor Ian Lyons, a former sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals who left the Army after a parachuting accident in 2009.
Pupils at Titus Salt School had another major role in creating the sculptures. Since the park was announced 18 months ago, Year 13 Psychology students have been working with a historical interviewer Tracy Crags to interview current soldiers and veterans about issues that affect those in the armed forces. These interviews were used in the school's creative writing workshops to create poetry. All this work was then passed onto the sculptors chosen for the project. Two sculptors, Shane Green and Craig Dyson worked with the pupils to create sculptures directly inspired by their studies.
In total there are 13 sculptures, and they have been added to the park since the beginning of the month. In total the project has cost around £140,000.
Heather Graham, Creative and Community Projects Manager at Titus Salt School said: “This project has been an exceptional hands-on learning experience for our students. Subjects they learn in school have been brought to life by the process.
"Our Year 13 students were completely absorbed by the stories of the veterans, and felt privileged to have learned about history first hand. The creative writing produced by the students showed a real empathy with the interviewees, which helped them to produce such outstanding work, and working with professional sculptors was an opportunity which saw students really raising their creative game.”
Coun Lyons said: "I'm blown away at the amount of work that has been done. It has been fantastic and we've had loads of support - it's all come together nicely. Since we have started this project the Dell has been used an awful lot more."
Other artists involved in the trail's creation are Simon Kent, Andrew Frost, Mick Kirkby-Geddes, Martin Bond and Edward Mortimer.
The trail's grand opening will be held at the Baildon Road park on Saturday June 28 between 1 and 5pm, and visitors will be able to meet the sculptors.