Touching Covid memorial to be located in Barnsley’s new public square

Barnsley’s Covid Memorial to commemorate the lives lost and in recognition of its key workers.

Heartfelt words created by renowned Barnsley poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan will shine a message of love on Sunday 14 February.

The words ‘Barnsley’s fierce love will hold you forever in its heart’ will appear in the window of the Library @ the Lightbox in a bright neon installation, designed by local artist Patrick Murphy.

Ian McMillan has written this dedication for Barnsley’s Covid Memorial, which is being designed and produced by local artist and sculptor Graham Ibbeson in collaboration with Lockbund Sculpture Foundry. This powerful phrase will be engraved on the plinth of the sculpture, which will depict seven figures cast in bronze, demonstrating that everyone has been affected by Covid and represent a tribute to key workers. The figures include a young girl, older man, volunteer, nurse, carer, police officer and a teacher – representing different generations and various communities and be reflective of everyone that has been affected throughout the pandemic.

The memorial sculpture will represent those who lost their lives and serve as a tribute to key workers and unsung heroes of the pandemic. It will be located in the new Glass Works Public Square in the heart of the town centre this November.

One of the first towns across the country to commission a permanent Covid Memorial Sculpture, Barnsley is paying tribute to those who have lost their lives and acknowledging the admirable and inspirational contribution of key workers, volunteers and local communities during the pandemic crisis.

Barnsley’s ground-breaking approach is demonstrated by the commissioning of a special sculpture that will feature ordinary working people who are hugely underrepresented in sculptures across the world.

The neon installation which will be on display in the Library @ the Lightbox, will launch a series of Covid Memorial engagement activities, starting with ‘Message in a Bottle’ which is an initiative for people to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic by adding their thoughts, feelings or stories to a postcard in the shape of a bottle, designed by local artist Patrick Murphy.

If you have an experience or story from the pandemic you’d like to share, you can download the digital postcard download here.  You can share it with us on social media @HearMyVoiceBsly on Facebook and @HearMyVoiceBsly on Twitter, add #MessageInABottleBarnsley or email it to hearmyvoice@barnsley.gov.uk.