Installation of the Shoreham Airshow crash memorial is underway

Work has begun on the installation of the Shoreham Airshow memorial on the banks of the River Adur.

Work underway on the banks of the Adur
Work underway on the banks of the Adur

Contractors commenced preparatory work this week at the entrance to the Old Toll Bridge in preparation for the final installation this autumn.

The memorial, designed by artists David Parfitt and Jane Fordham, will consist of 11 individually crafted arches, personalised for each of the victims, on the east bank of the river.

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Next to the arches will sit a bench for ‘quiet contemplation’ and on the west bank, visible through the arches, will rest 11 lights on reed-like structures, which will sway in the breeze.

Work underway on the banks of the Adur

The concrete foundation on which the arches will sit has now been put in place.

Speaking on site about the work, David said: “We’ve reached a milestone moment with the memorial as the concrete base has been installed and a path created which will allow disabled access to the site.

“The surface of the concrete will be mosaic and constructed using a combination of pale natural stones, which will be one of the things we will be working on next.

“We also hope to encourage the planting to naturally form around the site so it will nestle in nicely with its wider environment.”

Work underway on the banks of the Adur

The memorial has been designed in collaboration with the victims’ families, particularly the concept of the arches reflecting the individual personalities.

Jane said that although the foundations are a significant milestone, much of the work has been in the design process.

“We’re meeting with each family – we’ve spent a few hours with them where we discuss ideas,” she said.

“Then we go home, talk about it and make drawings. Then we put them on a larger, life-size scale for each arch and try to integrate all of the ideas for the indivdual.

Work underway on the banks of the Adur

“After that we take them back to the families and make sure that everything’s okay compared to what they’ve said. The making of them is probably going to be quicker than the process of talking and drawing.

“The talking and drawing is a very long but very important process for all of us.”

This year marks the third anniversary of the August 2015 disaster.

The Old Toll Bridge became a symbol of the grief in the days after, culminating in the ‘bridge of flowers’ and ‘bridge of lights’ tributes.

Work underway on the banks of the Adur
Work underway on the banks of the Adur