How Northampton may pay tribute to victims of coronavirus

Town council looks at marking those who have lost their lives

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:44 pm
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A memorial to local victims of the Coronavirus pandemic is being considered by Northampton Town Council.

Councillors discussed the tribute at the executive committee meeting on Monday (March 15) after it was suggested by councillor Brian Markham.

Cherry trees, a bench in a church yard and a picture display at the Guildhall of people coming together during lockdown, were among the suggestions put forward during the meeting.

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It was agreed the item would be put forward to the community services committee for further consideration.

Councillor Markham said: “It’s had an effect on everybody from young children and their education and adults and of course some of us have lost loved ones.

“And at the same time there’s been people working so hard on behalf of us all in the community in the hospital, all those wonderful groups that have provided food and support to people whether its a foodbank, the Sikh community for instance, fabulous work, there’s so many I can’t mention them all.

“I think we need two things really. How we do it I don’t have all the suggestions, all the answers.

“One is to remember how the community came together and to thank all those who supported us during that time, but also to remember those who lost loved ones during that period.

“And many people they had loved ones die. They couldn’t see them in hospital. They couldn’t really have a family event funeral.

“It’s a major event in many people’s lives what’s happened there. Now I’ve thought of two or three things that could happen.”

Councillor Markham said the council needs to launch a campaign and ask people how they would like to commemorate and remember.

He suggested a tree for St Giles Church yard and a bench where hospital staff could go. He also suggested a service for loved ones and an event at the Guildhall where pictures of the year could be placed such as people coming together and lockdown.

He also suggested people are asked for their experiences, ask for ideas and what sort of memorial it could be.

Councillor Lane said he would like to see a living monument such as a group of cherry trees which blossoms every year to serve as a reminder.

Councillor Jane Birch, who chaired the meeting, said: “I think it is a wonderful idea. I think it ought to be available to everyone in the town.

“People have been affected in many, many different ways. Some more directly than others, but this has touched all our lives and I think we have to take time to offer that sort of remembrance and comfort that people can go somewhere.

“I think it needs to a physical space. I would love to see a group of trees maybe in one of the parks that people can go and sit amongst, benches have been mentioned. Somewhere peaceful, somewhere quiet, somewhere comforting.

“But I think, you know,open it up, maybe on email on the website. Maybe that's something that could start now and taken forward as an agenda item for the new council after May.”