The Pound for Piper Memorial Trust today (Friday 13th May 2022) announces its plans to undertake a transformational re-design of the North Sea Memorial Gardens, located in Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park and is looking to the oil and gas industry to support the future of the iconic green space.
The gardens were originally designed as an extension of the Queen Mother rose gardens. Landscaping had already begun when in 1988 following the tragic events of the Piper Alpha disaster – the world’s worst-ever offshore disaster, they were to become what is now known as The North Sea Memorial Gardens. Placed in the centre of the gardens was the poignant & iconic monument created by sculptor Sue Jane Taylor, which features 3 statues of North Sea workers. The statue was unveiled on the 3rd anniversary of the disaster in 1991 and features the names of all 167 men who perished in the disaster.
MaryAnn Rae, Trustee of the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust and redesign project lead, says, “The design concept we have commissioned reflects our vision and meets with our Pound for Piper longer-term purpose, to ensure that the monument and gardens are maintained to a high standard for years to come and remain a special place for solace, comfort and contemplation. Several decades on, the impact of the disaster is still very real for many, and this is especially poignant given this is Mental Health Week. The tranquillity and calm of the gardens are hugely important, not only to those directly affected by the disaster but to those looking for a space to help support and improve their mental health.”
MaryAnn continues, “We want the garden to be enjoyed in all seasons, not just when the rose beds bloom. The striking re-design will do just that and will offer improved sustainability, access and egress and an improved visitor experience. Our vision has been brought to life by the talents of award-winning local garden designer Kirsty McLean, of The Garden Design Company Scotland and former Beechgrove Garden guest designer. The memorial statue will remain as the gardens central focal point to remember those who lost their lives. It is our intention to create a place that the industry, city, and community can all be proud of and viewed as a legacy project made possible by the PFP Trust and the industry.”
Steve Rae, Chairman of the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust and Piper Alpha survivor, says, “Of course, none of this will be possible without financial support. Over the years the PFP Trust has managed to raise and invest funds for the ongoing support of the gardens, however our current funding level is not sufficient to cover the full cost of delivery of this project and ensure its maintenance in the future. Pound for Piper is therefore respectfully appealing to those organisations that have benefited from the extraction of oil and gas over the last 60 years, to support us in reaching our goal of raising an additional £500,000.”
Steve concludes, “This redesign will deliver a place that would be befitting to not only those who lost their lives on Piper Alpha but also all that have paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst working in the North Sea. A place to remember and contemplate and a place to ensure the younger and future generations are reminded of what's gone before and the harsh price paid for the lessons learned.”
Proposed benefits of the re-design include:
Improved Access & Egress
Speaking of her support of the project, Deirdre Michie, CEO of Offshore Energies UK, says, “I am delighted that we are supporting this significant project to redesign the memorial gardens. I think it’s so important that they continue to be an iconic place for us all, that will help to ensure that we never forget those who lost their lives working in our sector and reminds us all how safe operations has to be at the heart of our evolving industry. I hope that the industry will give generously so that we can continue to have a space and place that we can all be proud of.”
Aberdeen City Council environmental manager Steven Shaw says, “We welcome the latest stage in the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust's North Sea Gardens Redesign Project and look forward to seeing the progress in the coming months.”
To donate or for further information on the North Sea Memorial Gardens Re-Design Project, featuring a short video, 360 tour and 3D animations, visit www.poundforpiper.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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