Hardscape chose poignantly to revisit the memorial to Formula One racing driver Tom Pryce, killed on the track in 1977, which was initially unveiled in his home town of Ruthin, Denbighshire on Thursday 11th June 2009 coinciding this year with what would have been the local hero’s 70th birthday.
The right formula
Tom was the only Welsh F1 driver to win a Grand Prix and was tipped as a future world champion. He was in his third full year of Grand Prix racing when he was killed in the South African Grand Prix in 1977.
Back in 2007, Ruthin Town Council invited members of the public to submit ideas for a fitting tribute. In February 2009, an auction was organised by businessman David Richards, chairman of motorsport firm Prodrive and Motorsport UK, who once co-drove a rally car with Pryce in the 1970s.
Artist Neil Dalrymple was commissioned to design a ‘low-relief sculpture’ which stands at the junction of Clwyd Street and Upper Clwyd Street in Ruthin.
Recently a £50,000 appeal fund was set up to erect a statue in memory of the Formula 1 ace in his hometown of Denbigh. This interactive public work of art will ultimately be produced by the talented Llandudno-based sculptor Nick Elphick.
The official launch was timed to coincide with what would have been the local hero’s 70th birthday Tuesday, June 11 and comes just weeks after the death of his racing rival Nicki Lauda.
Poignantly, 70-year-old Lauda was taking part in the 1977 South African Grand Prix in which Tom was tragically killed and went on to win the race.
Hardscape were chosen as suppliers of the Tower sandstone tumbled setts and sawn paving together with their innovative, intricately-designed and not tainted by time, stainless steel artscape laurel leaves, creating a ‘garland’ in front of the commemorative plaque which sits within a limestone wall and is flanked either side by inscriptions in Welsh and English carved out of Welsh slate.
Tom Pryce’s memory will live on in Ruthin and in a stretch of track at the Anglesey Circuit near Rhosneigr which is named the Tom Pryce Straight. The latest campaign for a sculpture in Denbigh is gaining momentum and among those who have expressed their backing for the idea is Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, the Welsh Government Minister for culture, tourism and sport.
Client: Tom Pryce Memorial Trust, Ruthin Town Council; Planning, Landscape and Environmental Consultants: Richards, Moorehead and Laing Ltd; Artist: Neil Dalrymple; Paving materials and artscape supplier: Hardscape