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Roundabout sculptures to mark village's wartime history

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Sculptures commemorating a village's involvement in the Second World War could be built on all of its roundabouts if new plans go ahead.

Councillors are discussing the possibility of installing artworks on all four of Perton's traffic islands.

They are looking for businesses and individuals who are interested in helping to come forward with suggestions.

Parish councillor Penny Allen, who is leading the initiative, said: "I would like us to think about commemorating our recent past history as an airfield."

During the war, the land where the village now stands was home to a large airfield used to train pilots, built in 1940.

The RAF airfield and an adjacent army camp were occupied by the Princess Irene Brigade of the Dutch Army.

When those servicemen went home, the camp was used to house people who had been displaced in the conflict.

Finally, in the 1970s, the disused airfield became the site for a huge new housing development, which is now home to some 12,000 people.

In keeping with that history, design ideas for the sculptures that have already been put forward include a rotating propeller, a model plane or a simple windsock.

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Councillor Allen said: "I want us to make Perton more noticeable to everyone."

She added: "There have been a lot of complaints about the state of our traffic islands generally.

"The shrubbery on them is untidy so we are looking for something different to do with them."

The parish council will discuss the idea at its next meeting next month.

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One of the key areas of concern is that the sculptures might be vandalised, so councillors hope to find solution that will minimise that risk.

Councillor Allen said the cost could be as little as £180 for an aluminium post with a windsock, or more for more elaborate designs.

Already a number of potential investors have come forward to express an interest.

Councillor Allen said the parish council would be approaching aircraft manufacturing firm Moog, which has a base in Wolverhampton, to see whether its apprentices could come up with a design.

She also hopes to erect information boards by the lake in the village centre detailing the area's wartime history.

She said: "It is just a matter of finding more the money and a suitable design that cannot be vandalised.

"We are not talking major money if we want to do something simple, but I am interested to hear what people think."

She added: "I am hoping by this time next year we might have a plan in place."

Businesses or individuals who are interested in getting involved with the project should leave a message on the guest book section of the parish council's website at www.pertonparishcouncil.gov.uk

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