Grief sculpted in sand tribute

Loss Is Eternal under way in the courtyard at Hebden Bridge Town Hall  - picture courtesy of Sand In Your Eye and Paul Burrows
Loss Is Eternal under way in the courtyard at Hebden Bridge Town Hall - picture courtesy of Sand In Your Eye and Paul Burrows

Hebden Bridge based sand artist Jamie Wardley and the Sandinyoureye Team have been creating a 10 tonne sand sculpture at Hebden Royd Town Hall from Monday to Thursday.

The piece is called Loss is Eternal and the sculpture depicts the moment when a wife of a solider opens a letter common during WW1 with the words “We regret to inform you your husband has been killed in action.”

Jamie, whose work is known internationally, said: “I will re-work the sculpture on two occasions over the coming months, one of which will co inside with Remembrance Day, during which the woman will become middle aged, and then elderly. This is to signify that although people learn to cope with loss, the hurt that we feel through tragedy is eternal and never leaves us.”

“‘Loss is Eternal is part of Sand In Your Eye’s We Are Human series. This is the idea that although different we are essentially the same and that everyone has the right to happiness. It has been commissioned by Hebden Royd Town Council as part of the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW1.”

For those wishing to see the sculpture it will be on view in the town hall courtyard for three months. There will also be an exhibition at the town hall about Hebden Royd’s involvement during WW1 curated by Mike Crawford, with poignant images from the Pennine Horizons archive. Mike has also curated a Roll of Honour.

As part of the commemorations, the council is next asking: “What’s in your attic?”

On Saturday, August 9 (11am to 3pm), Pennine Horizons is holding an open afternoon in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall, and would welcome anyone who has any information or photographs to join them. It will be a drop in session where the information can be noted and scanned and immediately returned, so that there is not risk of losing them. Once scanned, the images will be used for part two of the Great War Commemoration Exhibition in October, but will also be preserved in the local archives for future generations.

A spokesman said: “The stories behind our war heroes are fascinating; not only during the horrific experience of the war, but how they played their part in society for years after, making Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd the places we know and love today.”