Youngsters step back in time for Keynsham clock tower project ahead of unveiling

Published on: 03 Apr 2015

Five Boys

While the final design for Keynsham’s new clock tower is still under wraps, we can reveal the results of a project to recreate two iconic Fry’s chocolate wrappers to appear on the new landmark.

The detailed design for the clock tower has been finalised and Saturday, June 6, has been set as the date the artwork will be unveiled at Keynsham Civic Centre.

As part of the project, twelve youngsters from Keynsham volunteered to pose for modern-day versions of the chocolate maker’s Five Boys and Five Girls illustrations.
Seven boys wore the famous sailor top while five girls were loaned Victorian costumes from Bath’s Fashion Museum for the photoshoot with clock tower artist Sebastien Boyesen.

The idea came from one of the public consultation workshops organised by the Arts Advisory Group, which has been overseeing the clock tower project and the creation of a timeline to be displayed at the new centre.

Mr Boyesen said: “The sessions with the young people in Keynsham were fantastic. I think they really started to appreciate the fact that their images would be captured forever in the clock tower – meaning that when they were much older, they could always come back to Keynsham and show their own kids themselves as young children. They were tremendously excited by this sense of permanence and history.”

Any images not used on the clock tower will appear in a collage being created with Timeout Youth Group.

Schools help to capture Keynsham's past for timeline artwork

What do a Roman helmet, the composer Handel and a chocolate bar have in common? They will all be found on the new timeline artwork in Keynsham town centre.

Artist David Mackie has been working with children from every school in Keynsham to produce a piece of public art for the Bath Hill steps and walkway leading to the Market Walk development. The timeline will be fixed to the planters which sit on the steps.

Each school took a particular time period from the prehistoric era to the 20th century and worked with David to produce images, which he has now translated into a linear design.

David’s research was helped by many local people, including Keynsham and Saltford History Society and Keynsham Civic Society, which are helping to lead the project for the Arts Advisory Group.

David said: “The children and young people’s design work features directly in the final designs and they responded very positively to the aims of the project.

“Their involvement will hopefully enable them to contribute to a distinct sense of place and increase their pride in their local environment.

“Keynsham has an extraordinarily rich history which is not always visible today. I have really enjoyed working with a wide cross-section of the community in researching and prioritising its fascinating and unique history.”

The chair of the Arts Advisory Group said: “The timeline project allowed the young people of our town to take the lead on how it was to be developed. It is tremendous that all Keynsham schools were involved.

"We will have two works of public art which, along with our new clock tower, will have involved all ages and interests.”

Work is now under way on the production of the designs, which should be unveiled during the summer.

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