Work starts to install Daventry sculpture

Daventry Calling sculpture
Daventry Calling sculpture

The first stage of work to install a sculpture inspired by Daventry’s broadcasting heritage on a roundabout in the town is to get underway next week.

Work to build a concrete plinth on the A425 South Way/Abbey Street roundabout will begin on Monday (March 10) in preparation for the installation of the ‘Daventry Calling’ work of art a few weeks later.

The work is expected to take three days and will be confined to the centre of the roundabout, so no traffic restrictions are required.

The roundabout near McDonalds is a gateway to the town centre and also leads to the Abbey Retail Park.

When the park was built in 2009 one of the planning obligations required the developers Ashford Developments to provide £10,000 of funding to Daventry District Council for an original piece of artwork to be put on the roundabout. An additional grant of up to £5,000 was also secured from the Arts Council to help fund it.

Artist Tim Ward was chosen to lead on the project and came up with three proposed designs that people could vote for and comment on at a number of public events and online during last summer.

Standing at around 7 metres high and consisting of five ‘masts’ with a laser-cut ‘radio wave’ text ring, the winning design is inspired by Daventry’s rich broadcasting heritage.

The BBC World Service was originally broadcast from Borough Hill using the radio call sign of ‘Daventry Calling’, making Daventry well-known across the world. In 1935, this radio station was used for the first-ever practical demonstration of radar.

Cllr Alan Hills, community, culture and leisure portfolio holder at Daventry District Council, said: “It is exciting to see photos from the artist showing how the sculpture is coming together. It is a striking piece of artwork which will not only represent an important part of Daventry’s heritage, but will brighten up an important gateway to the town centre.

“It is worth remembering that the sculpture has not been paid for locally by council taxpayers, it is funded by the developer with a contribution from the Arts Council.

“The final design was chosen in consultation with the community and I’m sure it’s something people will enjoy for many years to come.”