A ceremony at the newly-refurbished Queen Mother’s Garden in Dereham has seen a new piece of public art unveiled and a time capsule buried for future generations.

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lady Dannatt MBE, revealed the new bronze artwork, entitled ‘The Gift’ at the event this week. The sculpture features a rose in a female hand and was created by international sculptor Mitchell House and concept designer Susan Ashby. Based in Norfolk, Mr House is a traditionally trained sculptor whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in galleries and public places. The artwork sits on a carved oak plinth produced by Paul Downs.

At the event, a time capsule was buried filled with letters, postcards, newspapers, and other commemorative items from the current day. The items were selected by the children of Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School, offering an insight into what life was like in Dereham in 2023. It has been buried under a slab and is expected to remain there for 50 years..

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth, commented: “I am delighted to see the garden refurbishment fully completed with this inspiring piece of public art taking centre stage. The sculpture complements the new benches, community book swap cabinet, sensory planting and accessible pathways, which will ensure this is a true place of tranquillity and reflection for residents of all ages. I would like to thank everyone involved in this partnership project which has culminated in such a fantastic space for everyone to enjoy.”

Cllr Hugh King, the Mayor of Dereham, said: “The Queen Mother’s Garden is a beautiful green space in the heart of Dereham, which I am delighted to see has been fully completed in time for the King’s coronation in May. I would like to thank everyone involved in this project, including Breckland Council, CGM Group contractors,  local businesses, community groups like Dereham Men’s Shed, Meeting Point, and Dereham Nursery and Infant School for their involvement in this project. Working in partnership has ensured these gardens will be available for generations to come to enjoy, relax and reflect.”

The refurbishment of the garden was funded by Breckland Council’s Market Town Initiative, Dereham Town Council, local businesses, community sponsors and contributions from developers.

(Source: Breckland)