One of the conditions of the Millennium Commission funding was that a permanent memorial feature should be erected. The Trustees decided on a stone feature for our Green.
The sculptor of this feature is Danny Stimson who, as a qualified stone mason and carver, has been carving stone since the mid-eighties when he worked as an apprentice for English Heritage; he then moved to Chichester and worked for CWO (Cathedral Works Organisation).
Amongst the well-known buildings on which he has worked are Chichester Cathedral, the Guildhall, Romsey Abbey and the Queen Mother’s home, Marlborough House.
In 1995 Danny started his own carving and sculpture business, undertaking commissions and holding exhibitions on the Island.
His work can be seen at Totland – Rylstone Gardens; at Brighstone – Grange Chine, and also at Lugley Brook and Play Lane Millennium Green.
The commission for Play Lane was very interesting, not least because of the logistical problems of transporting a large block of stone down a narrow bridle path and over some very rough ground.
Danny had a completely free hand with regard to design and location of the sculpture. His aims were to encourage people to come off the bridle path into the Green, taking into account the carved archway which was created by Paul Sivell, and linking in with the magnificent old oak tree which forms the centrepiece of the Green.
A number of designs were considered but the preferred option was that of a “monolithic” piece of stone, carved to appear as if a branch of the oak tree had fallen across it. This is carved from two pieces of Portland stone, set onto a concrete base.
To add a second interest Danny decided to locate four satellite stones carved with the points of the compass, around the centre stone.
He chose the final location so that someone walking down the bridle path, looking through the carved arch, would be drawn in along the path to the stone. Once the stones are reached the continuation of the pathway leads to the ancient oak tree.
The final result has achieved all that Danny hoped for and has been much admired by many visitors to the Green.