Armed Forces past and present launch One Maidstone’s remembrance artwork
On Monday October 28th, One Maidstone proudly unveiled its tribute to the Armed Forces, with a towering window display at the Mall shopping centre, in Maidstone town centre.
The occasion was marked with a launch event, attended by representatives of the 36 Engineer Regiment, the Royal British Legion, veterans, the Gurkha veteran community, AeroLegends, local Councillors, business owners and the Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Marion Ring.
[One Maidstone BID Manager Ilsa Butler with members of the 36 Engineer Regiment.]
The dramatic display, created by the One Maidstone Business Improvement District, will be present from the end of October and throughout November, and has been well received by the public so far, with calls for the artwork to be permanently on show. BID Manager, Ilsa Butler, gave a speech at the gathering, in which she said:
‘One Maidstone serves the businesses and traders that make the town centre the thriving hub that it is, and supports the community as a whole. When it came to planning a large scale campaign this year, we wanted to encompass the heart of the Business Improvement District, whilst providing something that has resonance for the residents and visitors of Maidstone. By combining this high profile retail location with a high impact remembrance project, we believe we are bringing something thought provoking to a busy every day environment, and hope that this piece will encourage shoppers and workers to visit the poppy sellers stationed within the Mall.
The Royal British Legion have been incredibly supportive of this project, and we thank you for your input, and for the tireless work that you do for such a worthwhile cause.
We also welcome members of the 36 Engineers, whose contribution not just to our safety as a country, but to the community of Maidstone, is truly valued. Thank you for your ongoing service, and for taking the time to support us today.’
[Crowds gathered in the Mall to view One Maidstone’s remembrance artwork. Jane Ayers, from the West Kent division of the RBL, also made a speech.]
Catherine Crowhurst says the Maidstone branch of the Royal British Legion is pleased to support One Maidstone’s project:
‘As the volunteer Poppy Appeal Organiser for Maidstone town centre I feel that the artwork created by One Maidstone is a wonderful addition to the town. It is a beautiful representation of Remembrance which is extremely fitting at this reflective time of year. We are hopeful that the replicated artwork on the former BrightHouse window on Level 2 will draw the public to our Poppy Appeal stand between Saturday 26th October and Saturday 9th November.’
During the launch event, Pizza Hut, located within the entrance to the Mall, kindly donated unlimited tea and coffee, as well as designated areas of the restaurant to attendees in order to support One Maidstone’s remembrance initiative. The Card Hall, also located within the Mall, kindly donated a set of patriotic red white and blue balloons.
When it came to sourcing space for such large panels, One Maidstone knew that a high-profile location, with mass footfall was required, and approached the Mall shopping centre, who kindly donated the use of their building frontage.
The printing of the artwork and the installation process, no small task, was carried out by local firm Bisons.