Bold proposal for Porthleven sculpture to mark great storm of 2014

West Briton Newspaper. February 2016

BOLD plans have been put forward for a sculpture to mark the great storm which struck Porthleven nearly two years ago.

On the morning of February 5, 2014, a tidal surge overtopped the inner harbour wall, sinking boats, washing away equipment and damaging the stonework.

The force of the waves smashed the wooden baulks protecting the inner harbour, stripped the roof from the old lifeboat stations and smashed windows along the front.

To remember the storm, it has now been proposed to use one of the smashed timber baulks as part of a piece of artwork, commissioned by harbour owner Trevor Osborne.

His company has been in talks with Cornwall Council about planning permission for the work.

Lucinda Burgess, who has a master’s degree in fine art from Bath School of Art and Design, has been asked to work on the project and said the sculpture would be placed by the outer harbour near the Ship Inn, in front of a new seat facing the Bickford-Smith Institute building.

She said: “I propose to use a nine-metre timber baulk that formed part of the harbour gates during the storms.

“It was broken by the force of the waves and as a consequence let the sea into the inner harbour.

“This relic of the storm is a powerful reminder of the immense force of nature.”

She said the baulk would be placed upright to show the height of the waves and held in place by a rusted steel frame.

She added: “It’s resurrection would also be a potent symbol of our capacity for renewal. The split broken end of the beam also mimics the splash of the waves and reminds us of their force.”

She said the frame would symbolise the outline of a photograph, as images of the institute clock tower being battered by the waves were published around the world.

The storms also brought a huge swelling of public support for Porthleven’s fishermen.

Volunteers works to clear the harbour during the lull at low tide and in the months that follows, thousands of pounds was raised locally to replace the fishermen’s kit and pay for cranes to return their boats to the harbour. Mr Osborne’s company also received emergency funding to repair the harbour.



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