Diamonds are forever after mosaic unveiled in Rowlands Castle

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PATRIOTIC fervour and village pride has been captured forever in a new landmark mosaic to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

To gasps and cheers, the intricately-designed mosaic was unveiled yesterday in Rowlands Castle.

(front l-r) Artist Liz de Ath and John Featherstone from JF Construction who laid the foundations, next to the mosaic. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142695-8884)

(front l-r) Artist Liz de Ath and John Featherstone from JF Construction who laid the foundations, next to the mosaic. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142695-8884)

It captures in art the village’s atmosphere and activities during the memorable Diamond Jubilee weekend in the summer of 2012 — and it’s quintessentially British.

There is a Union Flag, a cake stand with fairy cakes, a trumpet, a tractor, fireworks and the grand centrepiece – a tea pot topped with a Royal crown.

The mosaic has been a village effort, spearheaded by neighbours who organised the celebrations and worked hard to fundraise the £4,000 to commission the artwork.

Dreen Chestnutt, who took charge of fundraising, said: ‘We’re delighted. It depicts what we wanted, the fun of the day and all the activities that took place. It’s going to be a lasting commemoration people can come and look at and remember the day we had.’

Ann Page, 51, from Rowlands Castle, was busy taking photographs of the moment it was unveiled.

‘It’s fabulous,’ she said.

‘It’s a real focal point for the village – something bright and cheerful.’

Dozens of people and businesses contributed to the mosaic, including Keyline providing the materials for free, Caroway and EMS digging the foundations and local builder John Featherstone building the structure.

St John’s Primary School had a tea party and raised funds. Experienced mosaic artist Liz de Ath, from Hove, worked for six hours a day over six weeks to create the masterpiece.

She said: ‘There are hundreds of tiles and they’re a combination of glass and ceramic. There’s also Venetian gold, which shimmers at night, which is lovely and I used that for the crown. The central image is the tea pot – it’s symbolic of an English party on a village green.’

Steve Protheroe, chairman of the Diamond Jubilee Committee, said: ‘It proves when a few good people get together, we can do some fantastic things.’