Stanton: Work starts on centrepiece for memorial

Work gets underway on the Four Friends Memorial at Shelbourne Reynolds. Left to right, Martin Guest

Work gets underway on the Four Friends Memorial at Shelbourne Reynolds. Left to right, Martin Guest and Michael Matthews. - Credit: Archant

A SCULPTURE which will be the focal point of a memorial in honour of four men from west Suffolk was taking shape yesterday.

Staff at Shelbourne Reynolds in Stanton have started work on the centrepiece of the memorial to remember brothers Thomas, 26, and Daniel Hazelton, 30, and their workmates Peter Johnson (PJ), 42, and Adam Taylor, 28.

The four men, from Stanton and Rickinghall, died in an industrial accident in Great Yarmouth in January 2011.

Following their deaths, the East Anglian Daily Times launched the Four Friends Memorial Fund to raise money for a permanent memorial in their honour.

The fund, which achieved more than £35,000, has paid for a memorial in Rickinghall and a memorial in Stanton is due to be finished soon.

Agricultural machinery manufacturer, Shelbourne Reynolds, helped raise money for the campaign and staff have given up their free time to make the oval-shaped metal sculpture for the Stanton memorial.

Tom and Daniel’s father, Bob Hazelton, who works at Shelbourne Reynolds, came up with a design, which his colleague Charles Gibbs then formalised, and welders Mike Matthews and Martin Guest have been putting the sculpture together.

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Bob, 63, said: “Well, Mike has helped me through the last two and a bit years tremendously and when we knew we were going to do this he said right from the start he would do the welding on it and I have known Marty [Martin] not long and he’s come on board as well which to me is tremendous. The pair of them are tremendous.”

He said he had also been supported by others at the company, adding it was a “tight-knit community”. “A lot of people knew the boys, all four of the boys,” he said.

He described it as both emotional and a relief that work has now started on the memorial, which will be in the car park of the Cock Inn pub in Stanton.

The sculpture - which is made of 10mm brushed stainless steel - will have four chairs around it.

Neil Smith, sales and marketing director at Shelbourne Reynolds, said: “Whenever something like that happens you always try to help wherever you can, and when Bob mentioned he wanted to promote the idea of a statue or some sort of a monument, then it was skills we have here so it was a nice opportunity for us to assist really and help him.”

Tom and Daniel’s mother Marilyn, 59, said it would be nice for the memorial to finally be finished.

“It will be lovely for everybody to see where all their kindly-donated money has gone, where a lot of it has gone, and it has gone to what it was meant to go for.”

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