Shoreham Airshow crash memorial moving closer to completion

David Parfitt and Jane Fordham, the artists behind the Shoreham memorial SUS-180817-182753001
David Parfitt and Jane Fordham, the artists behind the Shoreham memorial SUS-180817-182753001

A memorial to honour the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash is almost ready for installation on the banks of the River Adur.

Husband-and-wife team Jane Fordham and David Parfitt were initially commissioned to construct memorials across five sites, but the designs have been scaled back to one, three-part location near the Old Toll Bridge in Shoreham.

A model of one of the stations of the memorial

A model of one of the stations of the memorial

A specially designed memorial bench will sit close to eleven arches, one for each of the victims, on the east side of the river near the entrance to the bridge. Looking through the arches will reveal eleven small dots of light on reed-like structures on the west side of the river.

The couple said the emphasis was on creating a space where people can come to grieve or contemplate in their own way.

“We are making good progress and can start to see the shape of things emerging.

“The designs are intended as a place for reflection to accommodate as many people’s needs as possible,” said Jane.

A model of one of the stations of the memorial

A model of one of the stations of the memorial

“We wanted to create something that reflects the past, present and future; where people can go along and engage in their own way.” The plan is to engage with the natural surroundings to create a peaceful place of remembrance.

David said: “The memorial is a small piece of the landscape, the arches and the lights on the other side are honouring the men that died and the seat is honouring anybody who knew them or was affected by the disaster.”

Each of the eleven arches will be different to represent the individuality of the victims, designed in collaboration with their families to help reflect their personalities. It will be left to the families’ discretion whether their relative is named in the memorial.

The couple are aware of the responsibility and said they would not be rushing the completion. There is no set date and the idea is to have it emerge without fanfare, rather than hold an official opening ceremony.

Reflecting the local theme, David said it will be made by local people, with local materials. The public response, he said, had been ‘overwhelming in its support and encouragement’.

The money for the installations was raised by officers of Adur District Council and included donations from the council, Worthing Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council and local businesses.

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