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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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HAVE YOUR SAY: West Cumbria's answer to Angel of the North

A Workington man says he pulled a bit of a Bansky – by erecting this 9ft-high tribute to the love of his life on a hilltop overlooking the town.

RELATED: Workington man overwhelmed by public support

The landowner, Cumbria County Council, is now considering what to do about the prominent structure which has appeared without planning consent.

The wooden and steel cross, featuring a stainless steel Christ, was placed on the town’s slag banks last Sunday.

It was put there by Peter Nelson, 49, of Vulcan’s Lane, as a tribute to his wife Angela who died in March.

Mr Nelson erected the crucifix early on Sunday with the help of friends. He cemented it onto the top of an existing stone seat on the peak of the slag banks, visible from a long distance. Attached to the feet and hands are red ribbons signifying the crucifixion.

Mr Nelson, who admitted he had not gained planning permission, said: “I’ve pulled a bit of a Banksy.”

He added: “We were married for 24 years and together for 26. I lost my heart and soul.

“I had always wanted to put a work of art on the shoreline.

“There is nothing here to match something significant like the Angel of the North, which is a shame.”

Mr Nelson has wound a chain around the base to allow people to fix padlock tributes to loved ones.

He said the steel on the cross should rust over time to blend with the wooden back, while the figure should remain gleaming.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council, which owns the land, confirmed that it would be considering its position as Mr Nelson did not seek planning consent. It would consider a number of factors, including health and safety and its policy on memorials.

Mr Nelson added: “I think we’ve lost our Christianity in this country. When we lose someone we ask why they have been taken but we never thank God for the time we have had.

“I’ve already had messages of support from all over the county and even other parts of the world through social media.

“It’s for everybody in the community. I scattered my wife’s ashes up there.

“I have been to the council now and I am going to put in for retrospective planning permission when I can.

“It looks like I’m going to get my backside kicked for it but I just didn’t want any negativity while I was making it because of my frame of mind.”

Mr Nelson, who ran Crystal Commissions on Vulcan’s Lane, picked the spot because of memories he had of walking with his wife and their dogs.

He added: “It’s in a prominent place, as people opening their curtains or driving to work could see it.

“Hopefully it will draw attention to the beautiful shoreline we are privileged to have and provoke the investment it needs.”

A dog-walker, who did not want to be named, branded the crucifix a “monstrosity” and said it was a safety risk. He said: “Churches and graveyards are the place for memorials.”

Have your say

A Beautiful piece of Art that should be left in place. Well Done Peter good luck

Posted by Keith on 17 August 2014 at 21:02

Paul Cox you took the words right out of my mouth. The whole family should have been consulted over this and I know for a fact they were not.

Posted by N on 8 August 2014 at 16:27

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