7th November 2017 | Old Park School, in Brierley Hill, Dudley unveiled its steel and copper commemorative tree at a remembrance service yesterday, attended by local manufacturer voestalpine Metsec plc who designed and created the memorial.
The tree, which will stand in the grounds of the school, will have the names engraved of pupils who have sadly died along with messages or poems from their loved ones. Old Park School is a special school for pupils aged 4-19 years old all of whom have severe learning difficulties, and many of the children have life limiting complex medical conditions too. Over the years, several pupils have sadly passed away and the school was keen to be able to memorialise them and create a place for families to remember their loved ones.
Metsec, based in Oldbury, has created a tree made of tubular steel which over time will rust to turn brown like the trunk of a tree. Decorated with leaves for families to engrave the names of their loved ones along with messages, the leaves are designed to turn green as the air oxidises the copper material of the leaves.
Mrs Cartwright, head teacher of Old Park School, said: “We work closely with Orchard School in Oldbury and saw that they had a remembrance tree to memorialise the pupils who have passed away designed, crafted and donated by Metsec.
“We really wanted a meaningful and interactive way to remember our lost pupils and so we approached Metsec to see if they would be able to create a slightly different tree for Old Park School.
“Metsec and its suppliers not only created a beautiful tree, but donated their time and the materials to creating this wonderful tribute and we are so pleased to be unveiling it this week in a remembrance service for the families.”
Clive Wolverson, operations director at Metsec, said: “Creating this tree for Old Park School was a labour of love for the Metsec team and we are delighted to be able to offer up our skills for such a heartfelt cause. A special thanks goes to Marc Williams and Mark Steventon who worked on this project.”
In addition to creating the steel tree, Metsec commissioned the crafting of the copper leaves from local company Steadfast Solutions.
When owners Steve Moseley and Garry Smith discovered what the order would be used for, they offered the leaves free of charge. The tree was installed by Logmoor building contractor and owner Tom Warren also offered his team and services free-of-charge.