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Historical Mosaic back on display in Crawley’s Memorial Gardens

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Image: Cllr Mullins with Jeannie Smith and Cllr Francis Guidera

A little piece of Crawley’s history is back on display in the town centre.

The Queen’s Mosaic, which was built in the 1958s by master mosaic fixer Len Baker, from Carter Tiles, has been restored and installed in the all-new Memorial Gardens Play Area.

Crawley Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and the Mayor of Crawley met Mr Baker’s daughter, Jeannie Smith, to celebrate its new home.

Originally situated in Queens Square, the mosaic depicts chess boards and a scene from the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland.

Image: Len Baker

The mosaic was removed from Queens Square in the 1990s and recently installed in Memorial Gardens in the town centre as part as part of the all-new play area. It now sits on display in the picnic area.

Cabinet member for Wellbeing, Councillor Chris Mullins, said:

“I am delighted the mosaic has a new home, it was a treasured part of Queens Square for many years and the play area is the perfect place for such a fun, imaginative piece of art.”

Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Francis Guidera, said:

“It was lovely to meet Jeannie and see the mosaic in its new home, it looks fantastic and I’m so pleased that future generations will be able to enjoy it. A happy ending for the mosaic!”  Jeannie Smith said: “I didn’t know about the mosaic until I moved to Crawley and my father told me he’d made it, it’s wonderful to see it and I know my dad would be very happy and proud to see it on display.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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