Mayor lays final piece in historic Lego artwork at Ankerside

May 13, 2015

THE final piece in a giant 20,786-brick Lego mosaic of Tamworth’s crest of arms has been laid by the town’s mayor.

Councillor  Richard Kingstone called into Ankerside Shopping centre to bring  the community art project to an end, 12 weeks after he started it by placing the first Lego block in the mosaic in February.

More than 1,000 shoppers, along with the mayors of Tamworth’s twin towns in France and Germany, have each laid their own brick in the historic artwork, which will go on show at Ankerside shopping centre

Measuring 45 inches by 45 inches (115cm by 115cm), the mosaic depicts the complex bear, lion, castle, swords and flags that make up the emblem, and now complete it will be framed and eventually presented to Ankerside Centre.

Cllr Kingstone said: “It was a great honour to be asked to lay the first brick in the Lego crest back in February and now, seeing it in all its glory now it is finished, I have to say what an amazing piece of artwork the community has created.

“I know from talking to lots of people that they have been following the crest and its development with much interest.”

The names of every Ankerside visitor to take part have been recorded for posterity and will be listed alongside the crest, which took a staggering 20,786 Lego bricks to complete.

Tamworth Mayor Richard Kingstone with the completed mosaic and organiser Lee Bates from Community Together plus Steve Hodgetts and Lee Green.

Tamworth Mayor Richard Kingstone with the completed mosaic and organiser Lee Bates from Community Together plus Steve Hodgetts and Lee Green.

The unique project has been a collaboration between the Community Together CIC Team and the Tamworth Arts and Events team who worked with a Lego mosaic expert from American company Brickworkz  to create the design.

Brickworkz has made Lego logos for Capital One bank and Johnson & Johnson among others and appeared in the Guinness Book Of Records in 2007, with a 44ft-long design that took 2,000 hours to construct.

Organiser Lee Bates from Community Together said: “The whole project has gone really well. During the week we spent in Ankerside we had over 1,000 visitors so it was a great success.

“The best thing about it was that it really brought all ages together. We had grandparents, parents and grandchildren all laying their blocks together and everyone was getting excited about their bit and really interacting with each other.”

During the workshops the Lego team also welcomed international visitors when guests from towns in France and Germany that Tamworth is twinned with were in the country.

Lee said: “The mayor of Vajours, Dominic Bailly, and the mayor of Badlaasphe, Torsten Spillman, both came along and there was a bit of a competition between them to see who could complete their Lego square first.

“Creating the crest has been great for the people of Tamworth as it has given them a real feeling of civic pride. Also, for visitors to the area who haven’t perhaps seen the crest before, it was a great was to get involved in the town they were visiting, and leave something behind afterwards.”

Ankerside Shopping Centre manager Pete Barber said: “This has been an exciting event to have hosted at Ankerside and a brilliant way of bringing all ages of our community together to be part of something.

“Everybody loves Lego and the response has been fantastic over the course of the all the workshops we held to put this mosaic together.

“It looks brilliant now it is finished and every shopper who stopped to put a brick in place should be proud of the end result.”

Lee, aged 38 and from Belgrave, added: “The team at  Ankerside have been so supportive of the project all the way, from letting us have the space to hold it in and promoting the events and they really have helped us make it such a success.

“The Tamworth crest is a very complex design with a huge amount of detail but it looks fantastic. Everybody rose to the challenge of completing their bit, and while each square didn’t look like much once they were put together you could see the design start to emerge and the individual images get clearer.”

Councillor Kingstone added: “Thanks must go to Lee Bates and the CIC team for coming up with the idea, but without the support and encouragement of Ankerside the project would not have got off the ground. Full credit to them for their involvement.”