Links between the regeneration of Ramsey and the town’s long-standing maritime history have been strengthened after a bronze sculpture of a child wearing a present-day RNLI crew uniform was unveiled in Market Hill by Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass.
Appropriately sited outside the RNLI shop the sculpture, created by celebrated local artist Darren Jackson, is entitled ‘When I Grow Up’ and symbolises the generations of volunteer service given by the RNLI to communities island wide and the sense of ‘family’ for which the institution has long been recognised.
Commissioned by Ramsey Town Commissioners the piece, mounted on a plinth of stone sourced from Poortown quarry, represents the Commission’s contribution to the town’s regeneration scheme and comes after the Chief Minister’s regeneration committee, in association with the Isle of Man Arts Council, invited expressions of interest from local artists for public art installations.
Unveiling the sculpture Captain Malpass said: ‘This magnificent sculpture not only personifies the beating of heart of Ramsey, its working harbour, but is also a fitting tribute in this, the 190th anniversary of the RNLI and the 185th anniversary of the Ramsey lifeboat station, to the fearless and selfless dedication of the men and women who serve as RNLI volunteers.’
Captain Malpass and Mr Jackson were united in their expression of gratitude to the Commission’s town clerk Peter Whiteway who had been instrumental in orchestrating the project and bringing it to such a successful conclusion.
Mr Jackson also extended his heartfelt thanks to the Ramsey Town Commissioners and the local regeneration committee for their vision and positive response to his concept, so enthusiastically embraced by Paul Jones and his colleagues at Poortown quarry. He also praised the skills of the Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry in London’s Limehouse and paid tribute to his wife, the artist Stephanie Quayle Jackson, for lending ‘her keen eye for detail’ throughout the project.
Photo - The sculpture’s creator Darren Jackson with Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass. Picture Andrew Barton.