Bury St Edmunds new roundabout sculpture was unveiled today with a flypast in memory of the bomber crews who flew from Rougham airfield.
The Flight of Peace sculpture at the junction of Mount Road and Lady Miriam Way shows a dove taking off from between two sheets of steel cut with the letter A – the ‘square-A’ tail letter of the American Flying Fortresses that flew from the nearby Rougham airfield.
The unveiling was marked by pilot Howard Cook flying over in his Rougham-based De Havilland Chipmunk trainer.
The sculpture was designed by Roy Proctor, who also did the wheat stalks on King’s Road roundabout, and made by Nigel Kaines from Stowlangtoft.
Roy said: “It’s the culmination of over two years work and negotiations and most people seem to like it.”
He praised the star-shaped flowerbed designed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Rebecca Davis, which is planted with white grass in a blue slate background,
Clive Springett, Bury St Edmunds town councillor for Moreton Hall, told children from Sebert Wood and Abbots Green Primary Schools, how as soon as he moved to the area he thought the roundabout could mark local history.
He said: “Having grown up in Bury, and as a child, I listened to stories about the airfield and the significant part it played in bringing peace to Europe. I knew straight away that this roundabout should be used to not only to remember the airmen of the 94th Bomb Group but to capture the history of the area. Unfortunately my idea was not adopted by the council at that time.”
But he persisted and in 2014 the town council agreed to look at the project.
St Edmundsbury Mayor Julia Wakelam she was pleased to see Bury’s roundabouts being beautified. She added: “I really like the sculpture. I like the fact that is commemorates the Americans who came over here and helped us and the peace they achieved.”
For retiring Bury in Bloom chairman Alan Jary it was the chance to see the organisation’s latest project come to fruition the day before he handed over to new chairman Robin Burnett.
Alan said: “It’s an amazing triumph of community.”