Festival co-ordinator Chris Woods gives and update on the Wilfred Owen Festival...

WELL, with just three weeks to go to the official launch night of the Wilfred Owen Festival the jigsaw seems to be coming together, although we are all hoping that all the pieces are there with none missing!

There are certainly no pieces missing from the statue, which now stands proud at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry having had the children’s poems cast and attached this week.

It will be making its journey to Cae Glas park just before the unveiling which will take place on Saturday, October 20 at 11am.

The landscaping in the park that will house both the statue and the Royal Artillery 25pounder gun is well on schedule with the park still looking glorious from the summer planting which so rightly was awarded gold at the Britain in Bloom recently.

In conjunction with the Wilfred Owen Festival and centenary commemorations of the armistice a limited edition 44m antique bronze coin will be made available. On one side it will feature an image of Wilfred Owen’s head taken from the new statue and on the other the Oswestry Town Crest with the Floreat Oswestria emblem. The coin will be on sale at many of the events taking place during the festival with one presented to each of the children who have added the poems and words to the statue.

A decision was taken a while ago that the events which required an entrance fee for the festival were complete, but we are still being contacted by groups who wish to add something if possible, unfortunately we have had to turn them down, but it does show the interest that the festival has generated from across the country.

One new event however that will be free to visit is the Shropshire British Legion Poppy Sculpture which will be hosted by St Oswald’s Parish Church from November 12th to November 18th. The sculpture was unveiled by The Royal British Legion’s Shropshire Poppy Appeal and St Chad’s Church in June 2018 and was created by two local artists, Lyn Evans and Nik Burns, alongside Martin Phillips of Heritage Schools, to remember all from the county who gave their lives in the Great War. Torn paper artist Lyn and metal work artist Nik were tasked with finding a way to mark the centenary in a way which reflects Shropshire.

To enable them to do this, 81 primary schools in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin were called upon to write the names of the fallen from their parish war memorials on poppies. They wanted to make the next generation truly part of this project and connect them to their past and Shropshire’s history.

For more information on all the festival events visit- www.wilfredowenoswestry2018.org.uk