Mosaic trail for Biggleswade, Sandy and Potton just the beginning say organisers

Eighth president of the North Road Cycling Club (between 1986-1988) Graham Thompson next to one of the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake who was the third president (between 1914-1933) installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo

Eighth president of the North Road Cycling Club (between 1986-1988) Graham Thompson next to one of the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake who was the third president (between 1914-1933) installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2018

The final mosaics in a heritage trail linking Sandy, Potton and Biggleswade have been put in place this week.

(L-R) Honorary secretary of the Bidlake Memorial Trust David Barry and mosaic artist Oliver Budd next to one of the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo(L-R) Honorary secretary of the Bidlake Memorial Trust David Barry and mosaic artist Oliver Budd next to one of the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo

Each mosaic panel depicts key facets of the towns’ histories and is accompanied by an explanatory panel.

The intricate and colourful mosaics have been designed by talented mosaicist Oliver Budd in a partnership project between Sandy Town Council, Central Beds Council and local residents, volunteers and school pupils who have helped make the pieces.

The final seven pieces of the trail were unveiled at Potton Library, Sandy Library and Biggleswade railway bridge on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The panels depict scenes from the town’s ancient Iron Age and Roman past right through to he present day and it is hoped they will form the basis for community projects and education events for the towns.

Mayor of Sandy Colin Osborne prepares to officially unveil the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny LooMayor of Sandy Colin Osborne prepares to officially unveil the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo

Carolyn Blake, who has organised the project locally and set up numerous community workshops, said: “To work with the three communities has been exciting, engaging, demanding and also humbling.

“Both Oliver Budd and myself wanted to give something special to the towns: bringing whole communities together, including local historians, town councils, ward councillors, schools, local communities, businesses and many more.

“The project has involved hundreds of people and hundreds of hours of time.

“We did what we set out to do: bring the histories of the towns out of the archives and onto the streets. Our histories must never be forgotten, but remembered because they are the foundations of our society.

Honorary secretary of the Bidlake Memorial Trust David Barry cuts the ribbon to officially unveil the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny LooHonorary secretary of the Bidlake Memorial Trust David Barry cuts the ribbon to officially unveil the two mosaics dedicated to Frederick Thomas Bidlake installed outside the Sandy Library as part of the Sandy, Biggleswade and Potton mosaics trail today. Picture: Danny Loo

“I see Story in Stone as a starting point for future events, of history trails, half marathons between towns. Biggleswade has already started a Poetry Table which meets once a month in the Pembroke Arms.

“Our second unveiling this week in Sandy was an extraordinary event, which brought cycling enthusiasts from as far away as Coventry and Spalding, because the two panels unveiled celebrated the work of cycling timekeeper Frederick Thomas Bidlake.

“Oliver Budd and myself are grateful to Central Bedfordshire’s Market Town Regeneration Scheme for funding this project and to Sandy Town Council who believed in us.”

For more information head to www.storyinstone.org.uk.

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