Community’s poignant new sculpture officially unveiled

Published: Monday, 3 October 2022

Paul Knight (centre) was joined by Oadby and Wigston Mayor Rosemarie Adams (with mayoral chains) and other community leaders to unveil the sculpture

Community groups in Oadby have pulled together to add a new sculpture to an ever-improving and developing reflection park in the town.

The seven-foot high steel sculpture depicts a variety of calming images of nature on its three sides along with scribed words that help encourage reflection, peace and serenity.

The idea of a new sculpture, which was officially unveiled on Friday 30 September, was conceived by Oadby Community Stakeholders (OCS) member Jo Knight, who sadly died before the work was completed.

It was therefore a poignant moment when Jo’s husband Paul unveiled the sculpture alongside OCS chair Chris Swan and Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) Mayor Rosemarie Adams.

In her memory a favourite quote of Jo’s has been added to the base of the sculpture in recognition of her hugely positive energy in life… ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’.

Paul Knight said: “Jo was passionate about her community and she spent many hours working to track down available funds to promote all sorts of projects. She certainly built many new doors and helped a lot of people to get through them - I miss her and I know the local charity community do too.”

The project came to fruition thanks to support, co-operation and funding from a number of groups and organisations including OCS, OWBC and Oadby Village Hall Fund.

The park off London Road and opposite St Peter’s Church, was developed on the site of former housing by OWBC to become a place for local people to relax, unwind and reflect. Several community groups have enhanced the space over the years including the Rotary Club of Oadby, Pride of the Borough and Oadby Civic Society.

Since then, it has been affectionally maintained and enhanced by many of the local community groups based in around Oadby.

The reflection park is also home to a decorative bench in memory of those that died in the First World War, a tree dedicated to those that fought in the Second World War, and two benches previously donated, the first in memory of Edward James Jones-Fenleigh who founded Invicta Plastics, and the second by PAL International 'for the people of Oadby'.

Chris Swan, Chair of OCS, said: “We're delighted to see the sculpture in place and hope that, alongside the park's existing use by local folk as a space for peaceful, quiet reflection, it will be used by community groups looking for somewhere to mark times of local or national sadness such as the recent passing of the Queen."

Cllr David Carter, Chair of the Environment Working Group at OWBC, said: “The reflection park is an example of what a community can do when it pulls together to achieve something and the new sculpture is now the crowning jewel of this space.

“Jo was a passionate, community-driven person and this stunning, finished sculpture is a fitting tribute to her and will be enjoyed by many in the years to come.”