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Living sculpture planted for Mayflower 400 commemorations

Willow Phoenix artists Emma and Adam alongside members of the Harwich Society (Maria Fowler/Harwich Society).

Tendring District Council (TDC) says, unlike other willow sculptures in the town, this one has been planted and will grow in years to come.

The council commissioned artists Emma and Adam from Willow Phoenix to create the sculpture at Harwich Green as part of commemorations to mark the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620.

The vessel, captained by Christopher Jones whose house still stands on Kings Head Street, carried pilgrims to the New World, or America as we call it today.

The town, which was home to the ship and some of its crew, is part of the Mayflower 400 Compact, an international group of destinations linked to the story.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the sculpture would be a striking part of the visitor attraction in Harwich: "As a living piece of artwork, it is also something the local community can take stewardship of and be part of it growing."

Mayflower 400 Willow (TDC)
The finished sculpture on Harwich Green (Maria Fowler/Harwich Society).

A spokesperson for Willow Phoenix, the eco-arts business, said: "We've really enjoyed building the living willow Mayflower, and have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of the local businesses and residents, especially SCS Scaffolding, Homecraft Hardware, Shakers Bar and of course TDC for commissioning us.

"Also a big thanks goes to the Harwich Scouts and the Harwich Society Gardening Club who helped with the planting.

"We are looking forward to seeing the sculpture grow and mature, and we'll be back here for the Illuminate Festival in November 2020. Thank you Harwich."

The Harwich Society chairman, Colin Farnell, said he was happy with the idea: "A willow Mayflower for Mayflower 2020 is a lovely idea and the Harwich Society's Gardening Group were pleased to help with the project.

"It's a very special anniversary which can be celebrated in many different ways."


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