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‘Inspirational’ First World War trail set to end

PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:22 07 November 2018

Margaret Marks, the mayor of St Edmundsbury, with Den Humphrey, who created the serpentine trench which is in the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Margaret Marks, the mayor of St Edmundsbury, with Den Humphrey, who created the serpentine trench which is in the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Archant

The iconic and imaginative First World War trail in Bury St Edmunds comes to an end on Sunday, with organisers saying it has been “inspirational” in highlighting the sacrifices made by the soldiers.

Marie Roby and her trench art cross.Marie Roby and her trench art cross.

Eighteen pieces have been displayed around the town which has attracted interest from all over Suffolk and further afield with over 400 entries submitted in a competition to track down the individual items.

From a trench bench to a wooden Victoria Cross and a Zeppelin to Peace Bells the trail, which has been sponsored by Treatt and jointly organised by Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement group in the town, and the My WiSH Charity.

Some of the pieces have already been purchased but an auction is being held on Saturday, December 15, at Lacy, Scott and Knight, in Bury St Edmunds, when the others will be auctioned off with the money raised from their sale going towards the Every Heart Matters appeal which is aiming to raise £500,000 for a new cardiac diagnostic centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.

Mark Cordell, the chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said: “It’s been a great success and a fabulous way to commemorate those who sacrificed themselves and it’s bought additional people into the town to find the pieces and raise the profile and money for the My WiSH Charity and their appeal.

Shell shock artwork on the World War 1 Trail in the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: LIBBY RANZETTAShell shock artwork on the World War 1 Trail in the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: LIBBY RANZETTA

“It’s been great to work with some really talented local artists and to ensure that the costs linked to the trail have been invested in the local business community. People are still doing the trail and they have up until Sunday when it ends.

“There’s been loads of postive feedback about the individual pieces and it gives people a greater awareness of what happened during World War 1 to the people of Bury St Edmunds.”

Sue Smith, the fundraising manager for My WiSH, said: “It’s been so inspirational and the feedback we have had has been incredible. We have seen people come from outside the town and even a teacher from Crawley and it’s helped to raise the profile of the charity and the artists.

“It’s been a benefit to the whole community and also respectful to the people who lost their lives during the conflict and to celebrate the end of the war and it’s been a lovely opportunity to highlight the way that we do come together.”

Heidi McEvoy Swift with her Peace Bells in the entrance to St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Picture: RUSSELL COOKHeidi McEvoy Swift with her Peace Bells in the entrance to St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

She added that anyone who wanted to purchase any of the pieces can email her at sue.smith@wsh.nhs.uk

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website www.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.

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