War Horse Blog

Funding has been  approved for War Horse, A Place of Peace To Be Together at Mill Pond Meadow Nature Reserve in Featherstone.


Featherstone community and visitors are set to get a World War I memorial entitled War Horse, A Place of Peace To Be Together thanks to a £50,000 grant from funding body WREN.


The money, awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund, will be used to support to creation of the new memorial sculpture designed by internationally renowned artists Cod Steaks at the Mill Pond Meadow Nature Reserve.


Mayor of Featherstone, Councillor Margaret Isherwood believes the memorial will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.


She says: “This project will provide a real boost to the people and town of Featherstone. It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to the sculpture taking shape over the next 12 months.


WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.


Penny Horne, WREN’s grant manager for Yorkshire, says: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Featherstone War Horse Memorial project and pleased our funding will provide such an exquisite, meaningful piece of art for the people in Featherstone and the surrounding area to enjoy. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that make a difference to local communities and we’re really looking forward to seeing this one take shape soon.”


The Mayor hopes War Horse will be ready for visitors by Spring 2018.


The origins of the idea for this project stem from a research project resulting in a book entitled ‘Featherstone In the First World War’ which was funded through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund. The research and school engagement linked to this book kick-started the idea for a longer-term project. With the aid of The Woodland Trust, a subsequent school engagement project to plant a commemorative wood at the crossroads coming from Streethouse into Featherstone was delivered in 2014 marking the 100th Centenary of WWI. 353 trees have been planted, one for each resident of Featherstone who lost his/her life and the Council would like to thank the Woodland Trust for their assistance with this project.


War Horse will stand majestically in Mill Pond Meadow as a proud testimony to local heroes whose lives were lost in WW1. Moreover it will mark a sense of place in the meadow where people are drawn to meet, spend time in reflection or simply to enjoy the artwork and surroundings. This will result in a long lasting commemorative artwork of regional and national significance. A successful application to Arts Council England has recently funded a period of community engagement with local schools and residents


The Town Council would like to thank Wakefield M.D.C. for all the help and support they have given to assist with the application, Beam arts charity for their assistance throughout the project so far, all the local schoolchildren for the enthusiastic work that they have put into to project and also our local residents who have given their wholehearted support.


Special thanks also to Roger Parkinson, local tree warden, without whose help and support the commemorative wood project may never have got off the ground.  Also the volunteers who assisted on the Public Art Steering Group, Tony Lumb (local historian) Colin Williamson (Friends of Millpond Meadow) and Derek Buckingham (Friends of Millpond Meadow) who unfortunately passed away before he could see the completion of the project but his contribution will always be remembered.


Finally but by no means least we wish to thank the artists from Cod Steaks for working closely with Beam and the Public Art Steering Group to bring this vision to life.


Below is an image of what the War Horse is going to look like once complete


Please keep checking back for updates.