Giant 'Herring of the East' sculpture bid for A47 roundabout
PUBLISHED: 13:32 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 10 October 2019
A giant herring made up of two curved steel arches could be added to a "drab" gateway entrance to a busy resort.
Taking inspiration from the town's proud fishing heritage, the contemporary sculpture with a glinting eye is being tipped as providing an impressive welcome for people coming into Great Yarmouth.
Paul Patterson, a designer who has worked in the oil, gas, and energy industry for many years, said the aim was to create something simple, but striking.
He said the eight-metre-tall silver herring would be made from high-grade stainless steel, bolted to a deep concrete foundation and lit up at night.
The estimated cost is between £60,000 and £100,000.
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Mr Patterson, 65, from Ormesby St Margaret, said the idea sprung from a meeting of the town's civic society when the problem of untidy roundabouts and the cost of upkeep was discussed.
"Planting trees, shrubs and flowers, watering and so on can run into thousands of pounds," he said.
"Having also looked at the Vauxhall roundabout, I also thought it was a drab entrance into the town and decided to design something more welcoming.
"I concentrated on a design representing our rich heritage, that being a herring.
"The object was to keep it as simple as possible using a complete circle, cutting it in half and turning it over to make a fish.
"There are strict criteria of structures used on roundabouts.
"The aim in this design is the minimal amount of ground contact, allowing maximum vision by using only two slim uprights, supporting the main design higher up, which should become out of view when approached by car.
"Of course, there will be many hoops to jump through to get it approved."
Hugh Sturzaker, chairman of the town's civic society, said it could be Yarmouth's version of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North.
He hailed the design as "fantastic", saying it would be a talking point for the town as well a spectacular art work that would be seen the length of the Acle Straight.
"It puts a stamp on Great Yarmouth and looks like a smiley face or a fish," he added.
Carl Smith, leader of the ruling group at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said he was fully behind the idea.
"At the moment it's a concept," he said.
"But anything that enhances the town and makes it more attractive has got to be a good thing."