Artists thrilled with town’s wooden gifts

Sacred Heart pupil Matilda Cordell
Sacred Heart pupil Matilda Cordell

MORE than 100 people took their weird and wonderful wooden objects to The Stade last week - along with the stories that make them special - as part of an ambitious art project.

Lone Twin - aka Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan - were overwhelmed with the response when they brought their Boat Project to 1066 Country on Friday. The duo are building a boat made entirely out of wooden objects donated by members of the public, each of which has to be significant to the person handing it over.

The plan is then to sail the finished 30-feet article along the south coast and up the Thames to the site of the 2012 Olympic Games in east London.

And the project got a massive boost when 108 people, including youngsters from Sacred Heart School, turned up to hand over special objects, which included charred pieces from Hastings Pier, an old climbing frame, three rolling pins and even painting easels from local artist Laetitia Yapp.

Catherine Baxendale, a spokesman for Lone Twin said: “To get 108 pieces in one day was quite a record so it was a fantastic success. Everybody really got on board and brought something with a story. It was great to get to know Hastings so quickly with people offering bits of themselves for the project.”

And with the boat’s final route to be announced shortly, Miss Baxendale admitted Hastings was in a good position to be named as one of the stop-off points.

“The support has been amazing and we would like to keep that relationship going,” she said.

Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration at Hastings Borough Council, donated a walking stick he gave to his late grandmother back in 1963.

“I think my grandmother and mother would both be pleased to know the walking stick will be used for build something lasting, to remember her by.

“I am very pleased that other local residents were also enthusiastic about the project. The organisers were hoping for around 40 pieces of wood, and were delighted that they got over 100.”