Montrose chosen as site for first Covid memorial bench

Matthew Buchanan (left) is pictured with artist/designer Mickey Fenton. (Pic: Hospitalfield)Matthew Buchanan (left) is pictured with artist/designer Mickey Fenton. (Pic: Hospitalfield)
Matthew Buchanan (left) is pictured with artist/designer Mickey Fenton. (Pic: Hospitalfield)
The first of three memorial benches as part of a project to mark Angus’s experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been installed in Montrose.

Located at Montrose Playhouse, the bench has been placed by the Angus Remembers team forming part of the project's community Covid Memorial.

Angus Remembers is, in turn, part of Remembering Together, a national project which seeks to give each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities their own way to remember their unique experiences of the pandemic.

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Since 2022, lead artist producer Abbey Craig and associate artist, Lily Garget, have been working with local people, community groups, and those most deeply impacted by the pandemic in the county to design and co-create a memorial which reflects the ideas and values of the area.

The resulting memorial will comprise of three interconnected outcomes: a mobile memory box, a new website, and a specially-commissioned bench which will be installed at three accessible locations across the county.

Designed by Carnoustie artist, Mickey Fenton, the benches will allow continued reflection and remembrance. The remaining two will be installed on Kirrie Hill and along the beachfront in Arbroath.

The website, designed by Michela Zoppa, records and shares experiences, reflections and creative responses to the pandemic in Angus. It will contain musical recordings, playlists, testimonials and stories contributed by community groups, local people and organisations which have been involved in the project.

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The mobile memory box contains artefacts that link directly to the projects on the website, but also includes donations made by people from across Angus. It will be on display in Montrose Playhouse from May 31.

Matthew Buchanan, Playhouse venue manager, said: “I think it's a natural response to trauma to forget, not to disrespect those we lost but to protect ourselves. This project creates a gentle space to reflect, remember and find hope in our own ways through listening to the diverse voices of our communities. We’re proud to be a small part of it.”

Angus Remembers is set to continue its community work with the launch of an Angus Remembers Legacy Group. The group is currently seeking new members and volunteers. To find out more contact [email protected].