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17th Jun, 2021

Sculpture on Worcester's public art trail will pay tribute to much-missed businessman who loved elephants

Rob George 7th Jun, 2021

A SCULPTURE in this summer’s public art trail around Worcester will serve as a tribute to a much-loved family man who loved elephants.

Worcester’s Big Parade will feature an elephant which celebrates the life of local Worcestershire businessman Keith Webb, whose family say would have been thrilled to see his favourite animal parading through the city.

Mr Webb was cared for by St Richard’s Hospice, the charity beneficiary of the art trail, before he died in July.

“Those who knew Keith would testify to his larger-than-life personality and support to those who needed a leg-up in life. He was always there for others and a caring stepdad for 29 years – the end came way too fast and too hard for our family,” said stepdaughter Becks Cansdale.

Mr Webb’s son, Edward, said: “For Dad’s 70th birthday we surprised him with a trip to South Africa to see the elephants he so loved, so it seemed a fitting tribute for us to sponsor one for St Richard’s this summer. When we walk the trail as a family in July, a year after we lost him, we’ll know that Dad will be there with us.”

Worcestershire Country Cricket Club is throwing its support behind a city elephant parade this summer and will welcome the full 65-strong herd to New Road.

At the end of the eight-week art trail, the club will host farewell events where all elephants – large and small – will be seen together for the first and last time before the large sculptures are auctioned off.

A long-time supporter of the hospice and the care it provides to local patients and their families, Worcestershire County Cricket Club has chosen St Richard’s as its club charity of the year for 2021.

David Hoskins, Worcestershire CCC Head of Commercial and Operations, said: “We can’t wait to see our club elephant out on parade and to play host to the whole herd at the beginning of October.”

Severn Arts, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, have also lent their support to the elephant-themed sculpture trail through Worcester this summer.

Severn Arts, a charitable arts company, committed to bringing extraordinary participatory creative experiences to where people are, is partnering with Worcestershire County Council to sponsor one of around 30 beautifully painted large elephants which will grace the city’s streets and public spaces for eight weeks from July.

“After a long period of gloom, this trail will allow people to bring a bit of colour back into their lives and into our city. We look forward to seeing the end result and seeing all the completed elephants in the summer,” said Laura Worsfold, CEO of Severn Arts.

A Wild in Art event, being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice, elephants will march into Worcester on July 12 before departing again on September 5. The project builds on the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall giraffe trail in 2018, which saw giraffe sculptures displayed across the city before raising £210,000 for the Worcestershire hospice at auction

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