Schools join in project to pay tribute to Harry

School children are set to partner the Sleaford and Civic Trust to further 
commemorate one of the 
organisation’s leading lights.

The memorial bench to Harry Gregson, on Gregson Green. EMN-210813-181149001

Following the successful completion of the mosaic for Les Gostick celebrating his work in the saving the River Slea from drying up back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Civic Trust wish to celebrate Harry Gregson, who worked alongside Mr Gostick and who did a lot of work to establish Lollycock’s Field and ponds as a nature reserve.

He was a well-known and fondly regarded art teacher at Carres Grammar School for many years.

Harriott Brand from the trust has been heading up the project with David Marriage, she explained: “Although there is a bench sculpture celebrating his life, and indeed a green named after him near the William Alvey School (cut off from Lollycocks when the road was straightened) the civic trust would like to add to this with a plaque on Sleaford Museum directing visitors to the sculpture and some text about Harry Gregson.

“We would also like to plant cowslips in the green which will bloom in May, require no maintenance and already grow well across East Road in Lollycocks.

“The sculpture will benefit from a clean and some stone inserts need to be replaced – these have cleavoured due to the nature of the slate from which they were made.”

The bench sculpture was made by a now well-known artist, Michelle de Bruin, who used to live in the town. The Civic Trust and Sleaford Art Group commissioned the work 30 years ago and it does now need a little restoration .

It was anticipated that the work would be done by qualified stonework restorers in early summer, it not being affected by Covid-19 restriction, ready for any opening up of the attractions here in Sleaford in the summer.

William Alvey School, being very close to Gregson Green, and Church Lane School have become involved in the project. William Alvey is holding a Harry Gregson non-uniform day to help fund the cowslip planting in the Autumn and on the day the Civic Trust will be talking to year groups about Harry and also running an activity (probably postcard printing) within the school day.

Harriott said: “When the cowslip plugs are purchased they will hopefully be planted by the school children. These will be certified UK cowslips to match those already growing on Lollycock’s Field.”

William Alvey School headteacher Stephen Tapley said: “Climate change, sustainability and conservation are issues that we need to address today.

“The school has always been associated with Gregson Green and Lollycock’s Field before that. So we were delighted when Mark Bamford of Sleaford Museum Trust and Harriott Brand approached us and asked us if we wanted to get involved in the Harry Gregson Project.

“We want to celebrate the work of Harry, one of the earliest Sleaford conservationists and help renovate his memorial bench on the green outside the school. We are holding a Harry Gregson day on Monday September 27 and hope you will join us to raise awareness about his life and works and conservation more generally.”

The museum also plans an exhibition of the town’s citizens who have worked so hard to make it the pleasant place it is today. Harriott said this will hopefully encourage younger people to become involved and care for our streets, greens, public places and buildings.