Retracing our steps – Gerry and Rita Cordon

For our last visit to the sculpture trail in 2010 we were retracing our steps in place and in time.

Heading back to Liverpool from Cornwall, we travelled up to Bristol to join the A49 as we often liked to go that way back to Liverpool through the Welsh borders. By Sunday lunchtime we were in the Forest of Dean, halfway back to Liverpool and revisiting the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, last explored with our 8-year old daughter Sarah in 1992.

All three of us have strong memories of that day in 1992 – of following the rising trail through the woods and emerging into the open (as it then was) on the crest of the hill where the giant chair stood. Place was a highlight – I guess ‘giant’ things often are for kids – as was Sophie Ryder’s Crossing Place which has since disappeared. We all loved the sight of those thirteen deer, carefully woven from strands of metal by Ryder, plunging across the swamp in such a lifelike manner, each animal’s frozen movement precisely differentiated, their muscles straining. Cathedral and Melissa’s Swing were highlights, too.

With a young child we had made three visits to sculpture trails in the space of one year and each one had confirmed how enjoyable and stimulating these places are – for children as much as adults. Sarah had already enjoyed visiting the sculpture trail in Grizedale Forest in the Lakes, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The Forest of Dean was a highlight of our Easter break, and the memory is still strong for each of us. That’s why we had to come back in 2010 – a pair of retirees, our daughter working as a teacher, having graduated in Literature and Art History – 18 years later.

Photos: Top: 1992, Middle: 1992, Bottom: 2010.