Which archway do you prefer?

Modern: Chris Veater's modern design has fluidity
Modern: Chris Veater's modern design has fluidity

PEOPLE in March are being asked to make a diamond decision on how the town will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

A special steering committee has been set up by the town council to discuss the issue of marking the Diamond Jubilee and have come up with the suggestion of a memorial archway.

Traditional: Chris Howes based his design on March Fountain

Traditional: Chris Howes based his design on March Fountain

Two designs have been drawn up for an archway that will be placed on the Town Hall side of the Market Place.

Chatteris Councillor Chris Howes has come up with one of the designs and the other has been created by Chatteris-based artist Adrian Veater.

Mr Howes specialises in iron work and recently undertook the restoration of Britannia on the top of March Town Hall after her arm and shield were blown off and damaged in gales last autumn.

His design is more traditional and mimics the dome of the March Fountain’s canopy. The Fountain was erected thanks to public subscription to mark the coronation of George V in 1911.

While his friend’s creation is more modern with flowing loops.

“We decided that a normal two leg archway would not be very visible to passing drivers, so we have both come up with three-legged designs, which means they can be seen from all directions. My design is traditional and will be topped off by a full-size replica of the King Edward crown - which you see on the side of Post Office vans - covered in gold leaf. It will be balanced on carved letters ER also covered in gold leaf.

“The archway will be encircled with wording to be decided by the committee, which again will be picked out in gold leaf and I would like to think it would be in a nice dark blue,” said Mr Howes.

Mr Veater’s design is more fluid and is far more modern and some could argue more suited to the 21st century.

The designs range in price from £25,000 to £35,000 and this will have to be raised by public donations, sponsorship and grants.

Fenland Council has already promised £1,000 to every town and parish council in the district that wants to do something to mark the landmark anniversary and is hoped this money will be used for the archway.

It is hoped the archway can be chosen, built and be ready for unveiling in time for next year’s March summer festival in June.

What do you think? Email your choice to: marchtowncouncil@btinternet.com stipulating traditional or modern design or write to March Town Council, Town Hall, Market Place, March.