Swindon mural commemorates end of World War Two

By Barrie Hudson - 22 July 2020

CommunityArts and Culture
  • Artists Toni and Gordon Dickinson with granddaughter Isobel Robinson, who helped with the mural

    Artists Toni and Gordon Dickinson with granddaughter Isobel Robinson, who helped with the mural

A mural marking the upcoming 75th anniversary of VJ Day has been completed in Queen's Park.

  • The piece includes poppies, a symbol of Remembrance

    The piece includes poppies, a symbol of Remembrance

On August 15 it will be three quarters of a century since the Japanese surrender which brought World War Two to an end.

The mural, bearing lines from classic wartime song We'll Meet Again, shows flowers - including poppies, the symbol of Remembrance - against a blue sky.

It is part of South Swindon Parish Council's plans to pay tribute to those who served in the war effort. A new memorial sculpture will be unveiled in the park on the day.

The parish council approached No Added Sugar, a community arts organisation managed by local professional artists Gordon and Toni Dickinson.

Toni said: "It's a partnership with South Swindon Parish Council, who I have to say have just been brilliant.

"They wanted to commemorate the war; they wanted lots of children and families to be involved."

During the three days of painting which began on Monday, passers-by were welcomed by the artists to add touches of their own to the work.

Gordon said: "Everyone who's walked past and shown an interest has just been invited to have a go, and that's what they've done. We've had them from two years old up to 90-something.

"We've had people from all over the world and it's been a great community thing - great reactions. People have been smiling as they've come past."

Some have said the mural was a good way of reuniting the community after the isolation many endured during lockdown.

Among those who helped to paint the mural was the couple's 12-year-old granddaughter, Isobel Robinson.

She said: "The first day we were just doing the grass and things, and on the second we started adding flowers. Today we had - because I go to Commonweal - my art teacher, Miss Robbins, come down with three other students from Commonweal and helped to put some flowers on."

Completion of the mural was marked by a visit from parish councillors John Firmin, Sam James and Dave Griffiths, who were delighted by the piece.

Coun Firmin said the mural was one of three parts of the parish council's commemoration, the others being the planned memorial sculpture and the display of pictures in three South Swindon parks.

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