Corsham schoolgirl’s proud peacock goes on display

This Is Wiltshire: Gabriella Allen holds her design as St Patrick’s classmates see the mural in Corsham precinct, with Sue Witts back left                      (49211-4) By GLENN PHILLIPS13gh Gabriella Allen holds her design as St Patrick’s classmates see the mural in Corsham precinct, with Sue Witts back left (49211-4) By GLENN PHILLIPS13gh

Corsham's artistic future looks to be secure, thanks to a newly-formed community group and the designs of a local schoolgirl.

Seven-year-old St Patrick’s RC Primary School pupil Gabriella Allen beat hundreds of other entrants to design the town’s new peacock mosaic, which was unveiled at the Martingate Centre last Friday.

The competition was organised by the Toy Box manager, Sue Witt, who ran a similar competition in 2012 to repaint the town’s much-loved lion statue.

She said: “We sent entry forms out to all the local schools and we had 435 entries in total. We selected runners-up from all schools, then Gabriella’s design was picked out as the overall winner.”

The mosaic was created as part of the Peacock Arts Trail, which launched last year in Corsham and the surrounding villages.

Mrs Witt said: “We set up an exhibition in the town centre, so people could come and see it, and we had people coming into the shop to help fill it in.

“We had lots and lots of people come in to help, with adults and children coming in to put tiles on the mosaic. It took a month, as I wanted it to be a community thing, so everyone can say they did their bit and point out the part of it they helped with.

“I have already had people coming in saying how lovely it is.”

Now the peacock has pride of place above the shopping centre, Mrs Witt’s attention has already turned to her next project.

“We’re going to repaint the Corsham lion in a World Cup theme,” she said. “Entry forms are going out around the schools. The winning design will be painted on and then we will have a similar exhibition of all the entries again.

“I now have a committee of people helping; we’ve called ourselves Creative Corsham Competitions.

“We want to put on all sorts of competitions, to bring the community together in a creative way. It might be photography, design or creative art.

“From one little lion in 2012, we are going to grow and do lots of different things.”

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