Half litre plastic bottles used to create Zeppelin for World War 1 Trail

Heidi McEvoy Swift with the Zeppelin for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL

Heidi McEvoy Swift with the Zeppelin for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of discarded plastic bottles have been used to create a three-metre long Zeppelin for the World War 1 Trail, in Bury St Edmunds.

Every Heart Matters logo

Every Heart Matters logo - Credit: Archant

It’s been made by partners of Rojo Art, Heidi McEvoy-Swift and Jacquie Campbell, in the back garden of Jacquie’s house in the town’s Victoria Street.

Up to 800 half litre bottles, obtained from friends and family, the Sybil Andrews Academy, Unit 1 Gym on the Moreton Hall Estate, and the Theatre Royal, have been used along with bicycle wheels from Revel Bike Shop, plastic plumbing pipes, steel rods, bottle tops and hoops.

It’s another of the 18 pieces of art which has been created for the trail which has been organised by the My WiSH Charity and Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement district (BID) in the town, which is aiming to raise £500,000 for the Every Heart Matters appeal to help create a fully integrated cardiac centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.

The 65cms diameter structure is displayed in Market Thoroughfare, a stone’s throw from where a Zeppelin raid took place in the town during the 1914-1918 war, which provided the inspiration for the model, said Heidi.


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On April 30, 1915, the airship arrived overhead in Bury St Edmunds dropping a couple of incendiary bombs at the train station and then flew over the town centre, dropping more bombs as it went.

One of them destroyed a group of four buildings in the Buttermarket next to the current site of Waterstones (the Suffolk Hotel as it was in 1915) at about 12.30am.

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The bomb went through the roof of one of the shops and burst into flames. The resultant fire then spread. The two occupants in the building at the time – a tobacconist and her assistant –managed to escape with their lives, but a dog was not so lucky.

But it was a second Zeppelin raid a year later, which proved to be more deadly, taking the lives of seven people.

Boby Works, an engineering firm, which made torpedoes amongst other things during the war, was targeted while locations such as the headquarters of the Suffolk Regiment in Newmarket Road and a chicken house also bore the brunt of the attack.

Heidi said: “I hope that children get involved with the trail and look at them and stop and think about the war and its impact. We found a lot out about the history of World War 1 which has been fascinating and at times very upsetting.”

The Zeppelin is being sponsored by Levertech Aviation Services, which operates out of Stansted Airport, and its managing director Rob Robson, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, said he was keen to become involved with supporting the trail.

He said: “As a company we like to get involved, the World War 1 Trail is a great opportunity to bring together our links with the armed forces and our support for local good causes that brings benefits to everyone within our community.”

The pieces in the trail, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites are on display through to Armistice Day, on November 11. At its culmination an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal.

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.

Treatt, the leading beverage ingredient solutions manufacturer based in Bury St Edmunds, is the main sponsor for the trail, and Daemmon Reeve, group CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support this ambitious and exciting project which remembers the bravery of those who fought in World War One and is also helping to raise the £500,000 needed to fund the brand new cardiac centre at the hospital.”

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the websitewww.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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