Tin Tommy Comes to Town
Back in November, we told you of the Barton Living Memorial Trust’s plans to install a metal statue of a World War One era British soldier and a commemorative bench beside him opposite the Cenotaph on Barrow Road in Barton.
Now the sculpture, called Tin Tommy, has taken up temporary residence in Castledyke Primary School until Tuesday February 28, when he will be taken to stand guard over the bench and the Cenotaph. He will be kept under wraps when he arrives with the date of his grand unveiling to be announced. But for now, he is on display to the school children, who have been enjoying his presence and learning about the history of bravery and sacrifice that he stands for.
“The kids are just enthralled with it, you see,” said Laurie Robinson, who is heading the project “It all started when a little girl called Daisy Mellors wrote to us on behalf of her school council children’s section to see how the kids could get involved with commemorating the anniversary of World War One. They helped us out and then I was on the phone with the head saying we were looking for temporary accommodation for Tin Tommy and she said ‘put him in the school hall for the kids to see.’ They’ve really enjoyed having him.”
Now the rest of Barton gets to enjoy him just as much as he takes up his post on Barrow Road to commemorate the Battle of The Somme, where many Lincolnshire men lost their lives. The bench will provide a place to sit and think, or just pass the time of day, while Tin Tommy stands by as a reminder of times gone by.
Laurie looked back to his youth to explain why commemorations like this are important for the people of today and the children of tomorrow. “A lot of people have a passion for commemorating the First World War because it was never taught in schools and remembered properly back in their day. It’s about the next generation, in 50 years’ time they’ll be saying thanks to us silly old duffers who put this stuff here. They’ll remember it.”
When it comes to thanks, Laurie was happy to spread his own around. First, to Hodson & Kauss, the metalworking company who designed the sculpture at a generously reduced rate and also to the donors to the project including Associated Pipeline Terminals, the Barton Rotary Club, North Lincolnshire Council, the Barton Lions and hundreds of individuals from as far away as London. Thanks to them Tin Tommy will be watching over Barton for a long time to come.
For more information on the date of the unveiling, keep an eye on this website and the Historic Barton Upon Humber Facebook Page.