On a lovely summer day in June 2020 the welcome lull between the Covid lockdowns was shattered by a tragic terror attack on people relaxing in Forbury Gardens in Reading. Three men were killed and three more injured in the deadly knife attack. One of those killed was secondary school History and Politics teacher James Furlong. I have been working with some of his pupils to create a lasting memorial to him and his inspirational legacy.
Right from my first contact with staff and pupils at The Holt School in Berkshire it was clear that James Furlong was a very special. This page will be updated as the project develops and we work towards a memorial that embodies the spirit of this much loved teacher.
We began with a consultation and design ideas session with a small group of staff and pupils at The Holt School. A few elements came through as having particular significance to Mr Furlong and his students. His collection of gargoyles. His active support for LGTB+ rights. The enormous outpouring of love evident by the flower tribute at the school. His inclusive and empowering teaching philosophy epitomised by six inspirational words chosen by the pupils: Passion; Courage; Humour; Kindness; Dedication; Integrity.
From these I have begun the design process by producing a set of sketch ideas. The design ideas focused around the site lending itself to a circular mosaic and the initial division of that circle into six parts for the six words.