The sculptures were unveiled on the 12th of March 2012 as part of a Connect2 project by Sustrans including the two foot bridges over the River Rother and linking the Halfway tram terminus with the Trans Pennine Trail at Killamarsh bypassing the busy B6058 Station Road.
Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity launched its five year Connect2 project in August 2006 and it involved the creation of new cycle and walking routes, bridges and other facilities in 79 locations around the UK. It aimed to create new networks of local paths, improve cycling and walking access and to connect local areas.
The scheme provided a link for Killamarsh residents to the tram terminus and Morrisons at Halfway and also provides a safe route for Halfway residents to access the Trans Pennine Trail both north towards Rother Valley Country Park/Sheffield and south towards Staveley/Chesterfield. The scheme comprises of a 33 metre bridge over the River Rother, a 31 metre bridge over the railway line and tarmac 3.5 metre paths linking to the new bridges from Old Lane (in Halfway) and Forge Lane (in Killamarsh).
The sculpture installation is one of several created as part of a national portrait bench co-ordinated by Sustrans. Local people were chosen to be part of the tableau – one to represent Killamarsh (North East Derbyshire), one to represent Sheffield and one to represent Rotherham. They were chosen on the basis of their individual contributions to the community. The selection was made from public nominations and a subsequent vote.
The silhouettes were reproduced from photographs cut from sheet steel which were left untreated so as to attain a weathered appearance. The wooden bench has a small round plaque set into one end describing the contributions of the three chosen people.
The final three which you will see today are:
Representing Killamarsh –
Corporal Liam Riley
A British Army soldier with the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who was tragically killed in Afghanistan aged 21 whilst trying to safe a friend’s life.
Representing Sheffield -
IBF light heavyweight World Champion Boxer 2005-2008. He now works to motivate young people in Sheffield.
Representing Rotherham -
A champion of local causes who has worked tirelessly for the community and local people throughout his life.
So next time you are out walking or cycling go and check them out.