Massey Ferguson commemoration receives support
Monday 15 October 2012
A Coventry teenager has come up with a novel design as an idea to help commemorate one of the city's largest former employers.
Blue Coat Academy student Matthew Dille came up with picnic table design featuring the famous triple triangle logo of Massey Ferguson as part of his A Level in Product Design.
The 17-year-old made a model of his design after being inspired by coverage of a petition from people wanting a permanent memorial on the former factory site that at its height employed thousands of people.
The petition, which contained 104 signatures, was presented by local ward councillor Steve Thomas to Councillor Ed Ruane, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Lesiure and Culture.
The meeting heard that Massey Ferguson has agreed in principle to provide financial support to any memorial and that planning consent for the site - which is being transformed into a 1,000 home estate - includes a piece of public artwork.
But there could well be more than one commemoration on the Bannerbrook housing site such as Massey Ferguson related street names as well as any art work or commemorative plaque.
Councillor Thomas said: "For nearly six decades until 2003, Banner Lane at the western edge of my ward was home to a tractor factory, established by the late Harry Ferguson and later merged to give the nowadays more familiar name of Massey Ferguson.
"The signatories to this petition believe, as I do, that we should commemorate a site which for over half a century ensured that a little bit of Coventry was exported to communities all over the world.
"After seeing news of the petition, Matthew put together a design as part of his A Level which is an excellent idea and very well received by the residents' association representing the Bannerbrook estate."
Matthew, who lives in Keresley, said the idea for the picnic table came from looking at the triple triangle logo.
He said: "It seemed to naturally lend itself to the sides of the table although some modification was needed to ensure it is able to stand securely."
Councillor Ruane welcomed the petition and said that Coventry City Council is committed to working with partners to ensuring some sort of memorial.
He added: "The site plays a major part in Coventry's proud manufacturing history and it is only right that this is recognised."
Councillor Ruane asked for clarification on the amount of money Massey Ferguson could give to the idea, how receptive developers Persimmon Homes was to the idea and agreed that the Bannerbrook Residents' Association be consulted about any final decision.
Student Matthew Dille (centre) with the model with Councillor Steve Thomas (left) and Councillor Ed Ruane