Barrow Voice      First Publised 1975

            Issue 162 Winter 2020

3,234 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

Setting the benchmark

Acreative idea on the Helping Hands (HH) Facebook page will become a beautiful commemorative bench in a few months’ time – thanks to a winning design by Stewart Pawley, a design engineer from Barrow.

HH member Pam Bowler suggested in June that a bench be installed to recognise the community spirit that the village had shown during lockdown. The Parish Council agreed to support the idea and before long, a competition to design a commemorative bench was up and running. By mid-August, entries had come in and three finalists selected. The designs were placed on the HH Facebook page, visitors to the page voted and Stewart was named the winner.

So, how did he come up with the top design? He says as soon as he heard about the competition, he began brainstorming and sketching, finally coming up with a poignant and beautiful design of a tree, representing the community, its arms covering the people, its hands supporting them. Behind is the sun, representing the positive energy and light of the days to come. The design depicts the community’s protection and support for everyone in the village, from the very young to the very old. Stewart explained, “on the far left, are a pregnant woman and child, then a teacher with children of key workers. Next is a person in a wheelchair with a helper, then a young family, and, on the far right, an older person.”

Stewart’s first thought had been to use the arches of the Barrow bridge in a design, but he couldn’t quite get that to work. Many hours of discarded sketches followed until he came up with the idea of the tree, which was refined and tweaked eventually to produce the winning design. Stewart is an accomplished artist and was featured in the Spring 2018 edition of Barrow Voice (see our online archives) for his art installations in Rainbows Hospice. You can see more of his art at

The Parish Council is working with Stewart and HH to facilitate the creation of the bench. The exact location is still to be confirmed but Stewart looks forward to his work being brought to life and sitting on it for a few moments – and, probably, most passers-by will not have a clue that the man on the bench is its designer.

Lindsay Ord


Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association.(BUSCA)
Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 1156170.

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