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St Augustine's Catholic College war memorial gates

Secondary school pupil who designed Trowbridge war memorial gates © Rob Faulkner, 2012
Trowbridge war memorial gates designed by secondary school pupil © Rob Faulkner, 2012
  • County name: Wiltshire
  • Group/School name: St Augustine's Catholic College
  • Age group: 11 - 18
  • Group type:

On Friday 16th October 2009 the Wiltshire Council, in association with 'Trowbridge in Bloom,' funded a tree planting ceremony which took place around the War Memorial area in Trowbridge. This was to celebrate the life, bravery and courage of the Armed Forces and Civil Emergency Services. In order to hold this unique event, the Wiltshire Council funded for the memorial to be cleaned, new furniture was added to the public areas, new hedging was planted and new railings and one set of gates to the rear entrance were also fitted. In addition to this they also supplied the four trees for the ceremony.

The event was a tremendous success bringing together VIP's, dignitaries, and representatives from the armed forces and the three emergency services from the surrounding area. The ceremony was closed with the launch of the Poppy Appeal by the Royal British Legion.

The new gates at the front of the war memorial were not replaced as it was anticipated that these would be replaced the following year. To try and encourage the Trowbridge community to get involved it was sugegsted that these gates could be designed and created by a student from one of the three secondary schools in the town.

Robert Faulkner (Head of Design and Technology) from St Augustine's heard about this, and subsequently made contact with the council about the prospect of one of his students taking up this challenge. A student at the school - Luciano Williamson - has a passion for metalwork and was very keen to do a project for the school or the local community. It was decided that he would incorporate this as part of his GCSE Resistant Materials coursework and it would therefore benefit both the student and the council.

Luciano started the project in September and started by looking at existing war memorials and in particular any gates which were present. After meeting with several people from the council, armed forces and emergency services he drew up a list of what people liked and set about designing the gates. Once he had a range of designs there was a further meeting where they decided on a final design. Luciano produced a scale prototype of the gates which helped him to decide manufacturing techniques and then started to make the gates.

He produced a number of formers and jigs to get the shapes required for the design but after successfully making the main structure of the gates realised that the equipment at the school couldn't generate enough heat to form the intricate details required for the design. It was decided that we would have to outsource this part and in keeping with the community spirit that we should enlist the help of a local company. Hiscock Engineers kindly agreed to help and as it turned out they were the company who produced the temporary gates in the first place. Therefore it was quite fitting that they should be involved in making the new ones.

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