Bury St Edmunds: Plane sculpture at roundabout on Moreton Hall to commemorate US air base

B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 Flying Fortress

Mariam Ghaemi West Suffolk senior reporter mariam.ghaemi@archant.co.uk
Thursday, May 29, 2014
9:48 AM

Designs are being drawn up for a commemorative sculpture of a B17 Flying Fortress plane at what is set to become one of the major gateways into Bury St Edmunds.

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Bury in Bloom and Bury St Edmunds Town Council are working together on the project for the Mount Round/Lady Miriam Way roundabout at Moreton Hall.

They hope the piece will be unveiled on May 8, 2015 – exactly 70 years since the end of the Second World War. The metal sculpture –which will be accompanied by an information board – will commemorate the former Second World War US Army Air Force base which was located in the area.

The town council has agreed to give £10,000 from reserves towards the scheme, which is expected to cost about £20,000 in total. At the meeting town councillor Clive Springett, who represents Moreton Hall, said he was looking for town council sponsorship to “get it off the ground”.

Bury in Bloom co-ordinator Melanie Lesser said she was “absolutely delighted” with the town council’s offer of £10,000. She described it as a “very exciting project” for Bury and Moreton Hall.

She said: “The new A14 link will come out there. We felt it’s becoming a more and more important gateway into Bury.” She added that they had felt a Flying Fortress plane would be perfect for the roundabout due to the connection with Rougham Airfield.

The tender has gone out to local blacksmiths who have until the beginning of July to come back with their designs.

Mrs Lesser said: “They have been given a brief for a representation of a B17, and it could be the tail, it could be the whole thing.”

John Dean, of the Rougham Tower Association, said: “The tower association is giving its full support. Obviously anything which helps to remind people of the history of the airfield is excellent news for the museum, and if it encourages more people to come to see what the museum has to offer that’s excellent.” He said the 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy) used to be based at the airfield.

Mrs Lesser is looking for match funding for the scheme. Contact her on 01284 766955.

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