Thu. May 26th, 2022

Families of the bombers at Manchester Arena have spoken out about their anger after changes were apparently made to the design of the memorial without their knowledge.

Work on the Glade of Light is currently underway at the site next to Manchester Cathedral and is expected to be completed this winter.

The Manchester Council first announced that designers had been appointed in 2018, declaring that families of the 22 victims of the atrocity would be heard throughout.

A planning application for the memorial was approved in January.

However, a number of Arena families took to Twitter last night to claim that crucial elements of the design that they thought were underway have been scrapped, particularly a water feature.

The 22 victims of the Manchester Arena bombing

Claire Brewster, who lost her sister Kelly in the blast, tweeted a statement to the Manchester Council, adding: “Normally I would not do such a thing, but since it is a public memorial, I think the public should know it.”

In her statement, Claire stated that Kelly’s family has attended meetings at the memorial ‘for years’.

“It’s something so important to us that it just has to be perfect,” she wrote.

“We visited different places for the memorial, provided input and voted on design plans.”

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“We were so happy to see Glade of Light was chosen and how perfect a design this was for our loved ones.

“Since development began, I have visited the site many times and taken progress photographs, in excitement, waiting for the time when we can pick and plant a tree in Kelly’s memory and leave a message to be transcribed into the most beautiful feature of water.”

Kelly Brewster, whose sister Claire said she is ‘devastated’ by the changes

“We are quite tired of only now learning that the beautiful features that made us fall in love with this memorial are no longer included, and given how close we are to the fact that the memorial is complete, I guess , that there is nothing we can do about this.

“We will no longer choose a tree or even plant one.

“And we no longer want the beautiful water feature that we thought was so appropriate.

“As far as we remember, we have never been told about this, asked for our input or shown a new design.

“We were promised at the beginning of this process that families would be considered and updated throughout.

“Good Manchester, my family feels cheated, ruined and completely ignored and left out of something so important to our family and my sister’s memory. Thank you so much for that.”

Other Arena families joined Claire’s condemnation.

Caroline Curry, mother of 19-year-old victim Liam, wrote ‘broken’ in response.

Mark Rutherford, father of 17-year-old Chloe, added: “Absolutely ruined, no commitment throughout the course as promised. That’s not what we voted for.”

Fig Murray, mother of Martyn Hett

Fig Murray, who lost his son Martyn Hett, wrote: “Claire, I have been so wrapped up in my dissertation that I missed it all.

“I agree with you that we should have been informed and wonder why all this changed? I thought we should make decisions?”

Pat Karney, city council spokesman for the city center, promised to get to the bottom of what happened.

He tweeted Claire: “I was very sorry to read your comments. I have not been involved in the memorial.

“The very last thing in the world that Manchester would do would be to inflict more pain on our Arena families.

“I want to talk to the council chairman and CEO and ask them to contact you.”

An aerial photo of the Glade of Light memorial proposed by the Manchester Council to commemorate those killed in the Manchester Arena attack

In a January press release, the Manchester Council said the Glade of Light was designed as a ‘peaceful garden space’, with a planting plan to ensure color all year round and reflect the changing seasons – a living memorial solely using plants that grow naturally in the British countryside. ‘

“Tree locations have been designed to maximize light and ensure the garden gets as much sunlight as possible,” it added.

“The memorial in the memorial is a ‘halo’ of white stone ring that will bear the names of the 22 who lost their lives in bronze, with personal memory capsules – containing memories and memories to be provided by their loved ones – kept within stone.”

Visualization of the memorial in its design phase

The council today issued a statement on the concerns raised by family members on Twitter.

It told a spokesman for the Manchester City Council Manchester Evening News : “The Glade of Light memorial remains very close to the original outline design – a garden monument with a marble stone halo engraved with the names of those who lost their lives as its centerpiece.

“Memory capsules to be embedded in halo will allow families to add their personal words, memories and memories forever.

“There have inevitably been some adjustments to this outline design based on both feedback from families and practical considerations, but families were updated and the revised designs were shared with them.

Ongoing work to build the memorial, located between Manchester Cathedral and Chethams School of Music

“We deeply regret if some families feel that they were not sufficiently informed and will write to them to resolve any concerns..

“Everyone involved is committed to creating a beautiful place of remembrance that honors those who lost their lives. We believe that the memorial, which is close to being completed, will be a peaceful and appropriate tribute.

“Families of those who lost loved ones will also have the opportunity to visit the memorial before it is open to the public.”


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