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Published April 1st 2020
Spruce up planned for Tamworth's favourite piggies
Despite the current lockdown, schools and local community groups which originally designed the art work for the popular Tamworth Trotters Trail in 2015 are being invited to get creative at home and help re-design the wooden and metal pigs for their anticipated return. People living or working in Tamworth may have noticed that the 'porky' sculptures all disappeared from their sites around the town at the end of last year. The 15 wood and metal sculptures, each measuring 3ft by 3ft, were decorated by schools, community groups and businesses before being 'trotted' out in prime locations across Tamworth five years ago as part of a major community art project. However, it was decided last year that the time had come for the pigs to have a bit of TLC, so they were all collected and taken for a make-over.
Some of the 15 pig sculptures which made up the original Trotters Trail
The collective face-lift for the pigs has included the replacement of wooden parts with galvanised steel as well as a general refurbishment. But, due to the closures of schools and clubs, and restrictions on people staying at home, the pigs cannot yet be offered back to the groups who originally painted them to be given a fresh new look. However, Tamworth Borough Council's Arts and Events team has come up with a plan to still get the pigs re-designed and re-decorated ready to be returned to their 'stys' around the town. Each school or community group that was involved with the original creation of the pigs has been contacted and sent a template to complete their new design at home. The idea is that members of each group draw a design on paper, take a picture of it and upload it via social media. This could be for the whole pig or just a part of the design. These images will then be given to sculptor Luke Perry, creator of Tamworth's striking Athelflaed statue, who will bring together the various designs to create the final completed refurbished Tamworth pigs, ready for the return of the Trotters Trail.
The Peel Society pig in front of the statue of Sir Robert Peel, regarded as the founder of British policing
Councillor John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: "The Trotters Trail has been a real success and people have grown exceptionally fond of seeing the pigs around the town. When the pigs were first installed, we thought they'd last for a year or so. However, they were so popular with people that we decided to keep them in place while they were still looking good. Four years later though and they do need a little TLC. It is exciting that they are being given a new lease of life and will continue to be enjoyed by the town's residents and visitors. I look forward to seeing what creative designs will be crafted at home. This is an excellent way for the pupils and individuals to still be involved and keep busy while self-isolating."
The pig decorated by pupils of Stoneydelph Primary School
Inspired by the famous Tamworth Sandybacks, the pigs were originally created as part of the hugely successful I Am Tamworth project which was funded by Arts Council England and developed by the council's Arts & Events team to inspire people of all ages to embrace the arts and get creative.