The Knife Angel, also recognised as the National Monument Against Violence & Aggression, has officially embarked on the next leg of its National Anti-Violence Tour today. The Angel left the Ironworks, where it has remained throughout December, and entered Wales for the first time - a truly momentous occasion and a fantastic way to start the new year! Made possible by the Powys County Council and the Dyfed-Powys Police & Crime Commissioner, the monument was escorted into Newtown this morning where it will remain until the end of January.
This morning, the Knife Angel was loaded up onto a flatbed lorry using two five-axle, one hundred tonne cranes. Blood Bikes Wales, a voluntary group that provides free blood courier services to the NHS, Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association and the Dragon Riders Club then journeyed alongside the Angel as it made its way across the Shropshire-Wales border into Newtown. Once the Angel reached the Abermule lay-by just outside of Newtown, the Dyfed-Powys Police escorted the monument into and through the town. It can now be seen stood outside of the Oriel Davies Gallery; a contemporary art gallery dedicated to bringing world-class art to the heart of Wales.
Pictured (Left): Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre; Joy Jones, Anti-Poverty Champion for Powys County Council; Alfie Bradley, the Knife Angel Sculptor. Pictured (Right): Police Inspector forv Dyfed-Powys Police; Joy Jones; Clive Knowles
Wales is really embracing the Angel and its anti-violence message as we all begin a new decade. Powys are the first region to commit to targeting and deputising 10,000 Anti-Violence Champions – an aspirational figure that will become the first national anti-violence drive for 2020. This drive encompasses schools and youth groups by allowing young people to stand up against violence and aggression in all forms, not just knife crime. The initiative invites children and young people to become Anti-Violence Champions, deputised through badges, stickers, and certificates which Newtown’s Knife Angel representatives will provide. Every proceeding host city and town, including Telford, will be doing the same throughout 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, the County of Powys have agreed to also host the Angel in Aberystwyth in 2021, making Powys the first region who are determined to have the whole area benefit from the Angel’s presence. With Newtown being so close to Oswestry, many of the Ironworks’ members and visitors are from the mid-Wales region and have had the unique opportunity to watch the Angel grow since its very conception. Having the Angel journey to Wales is a truly important moment for us all and we hope its poignant message will be carried throughout the County of Powys, the rest of Wales, and beyond.