Latest News | 23 March 2021

Wathall’s seeing stars for Derby Ram Trail

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Funeral directors Wathall’s has revealed a sneak preview of the sculpture it has sponsored for the forthcoming Derby Ram Trail.

The firm has dedicated its sculpture to members of its Dandelions Bereavement Support groups in Derby and Ashbourne and to the families who have lost a loved one in the past year.

Rescheduled from last summer, the Derby Ram Trail is being brought to the city by Derby Museums, in partnership with Wild in Art.

The public art sculpture event will feature 30 individually painted 5ft tall rams, threading through the city centre between 27 May and 22 August.

Wathall’s ram sculpture has been created by Glasgow-based artist and ceramics expert Catherine Bell who has taken her inspiration from Derbyshire-born John Flamsteed.

The famous figure was appointed the first English Astronomer Royal in 1675 and, during his eminent career, catalogued a number of new stars and mapped certain constellations.

Catherine said: “My passion is art and history so, during my research I discovered the Derby link to John Flamsteed and that the Peak District National Park has designated dark skies discovery sites.

“I obviously don’t want to give too much away and ruin the surprise for visitors to the Derby Ram Trail but suffice to say that my design is inspired by the stars.”

Helen Wathall MBE, who is the fifth generation of her family to head up the company, said: “We are delighted with Catherine’s work and very much look forward to our sculpture being part of the Derby Ram Trail this summer.

“We consulted members of our Dandelions bereavement support groups way back when we were first choosing the design and everyone agreed that Catherine’s beautifully reflected how many people take comfort from the night sky during their grief journey.

“She has even cleverly incorporated a dandelion in the design and many of our members are already making plans to get together and enjoy the Derby Ram Trail having not seen each other face to face for so long.

“I think this design is even more poignant with so many people having suffered the loss of loved ones and not being able to say final goodbyes in the way they would have liked during the pandemic.

“I hope that visiting our ram on the trail will encourage people to stop and take a quiet moment of reflection to remember loved ones and hopefully gain strength to move forward with their lives.”

To find out more about the Derby Ram Trail please click here.

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