Design agreed for memorials to friends killed in accident

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A UNIQUE and personal design has been selected for the creation of two lasting tributes to four popular West Suffok men who died in an industrial accident last year.

Adam Taylor, Peter ‘PJ’ Johnson and brothers Dan and Tom Hazelton died after a steel cage fell on them as they carried out building work in Great Yarmouth, in January 2011.

Since then, their grieving families have met regularly to discuss plans for two permanent memorials, one in Stanton where Tom and PJ lived, and the other in Rickinghall where Dan and Adam lived.

They will be paid for out of the Four Friends Memorial Fund, which raised more than £34,000, and, after much debate, an artist’s impression of the design all parties have agreed on has been created.

Marilyn Hazelton, Tom and Dan’s mother, said: “We have put an awful lot of thought into it because not in anyone’s wildest dreams did we imagine the amount of money that would be raised.”

She added: “It’s been difficult because the memorial will be nice but it’s been very upsetting as well – it’s horrible that we’re in a position to have to do it.”

The chosen design consists of a central steel sculpture on a raised granite platform, with outer edges for each of the men which will incorporate items associated with their personal lives - Stanton Football Club shirts for Dan and Adam, a fish for Tom and a saxophone for PJ.

Four chairs are positioned around the sculpture and a low brick wall and hedgerow decorate the outside.

The Stanton location has received approval from Havebury Housing, which owns the land, but the families are now waiting to get the thumbs up from St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The Rickinghall location the families hope to build on is owned by a group of trustees, rather than a council, and that group, which has already agreed in principal to a memorial of some kind, is yet to give the latest design the go ahead, although a meeting to discuss it has been scheduled.

Mrs Hazelton said: “We’re really hopeful that they will be started at the same sort of time but, whether that will happen or not, I don’t know.

“Everybody’s standing by and will get on with their respective bits when we get the go-ahead, but we daren’t get anything ready incase anyone says no.”

Also paying tribute to the men is Stanton Football Club, which is holding its second sportsman dinner on July 21.

The night, to be held at the village hall at 7pm, will include a three course meal with wine, a sports raffle and an auction, with former football player and broadcaster Alan Brazil as the night’s headline act.

Last year’s dinner raised almost £14,000 for the Four Friends Memorial Fund but this year the money raised will go to Help for Heroes and the Quidenham Children’s Hospice. Single tickets may be available later but tables of 10 can be bought for £500. Contact Martin on 01359 250600.