Banbury area business helping remember Covid-19 victims with memorials for upcoming National Day of Reflection

A traditional stone cairn has been built at Mid-England Barrow near Banbury where people can visit, light a candle, and remember those lost to Covid 19, in a safe environment.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 9:36 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 8:04 am
Banbury area business - Mid-England Barrow - helping remember Covid-19 victims with memorials for upcoming National Day of Reflection

The cairn was the idea of Farnborough area farmers Richard and Sarah Smart, who run Mid-England Barrow.

Mid-England Barrow, in the heart of English countryside near Farnborough, is a structure created entirely from natural resources by skilled craftsmen. Recesses nestled into the walls, offer spaces for up to five urns, which are then secured by personalised covers, made from stone, glass or other material, sourced from local craftsmen.

Sarah said: "A number of memorials are being discussed around the country, but we wanted somewhere for people now. It’s completion, with the help of local artist Kevin Short, is in timing with the National Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd March."

Banbury area business - Mid-England Barrow - helping remember Covid-19 victims with memorials for upcoming National Day of Reflection

A minute's silence at 12pm and a national doorstep vigil will form part of a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the UK's first Covid lockdown.

Kevin Short, who is from Fenny Compton, said: "Sarah asked if I could make a plaque for the cairn, and I was honoured to be involved."

Sarah added: "We decided it was important to acknowledge the lives lost in our three local villages, Fenny Compton, Farnborough and Claydon, our three nearby counties, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, and indeed, the entire world, and Kevin’s artistry reflects this."

Richard added: "The cairn is situated along the path to our Barrow, within newly planted trees, surrounded by meadowland."

Banbury area business - Mid-England Barrow - helping remember Covid-19 victims with memorials for upcoming National Day of Reflection

Local funeral celebrant, Ruth Jewell, said: "Lots of families have delayed holding a large funeral. But it’s a vital part of the grieving process, not only for the close family, but for friends of the deceased too. I hope, for the ongoing welfare of the bereaved, they do make arrangements for a ‘send off’ when the time is right."

Anyone is welcome to visit the cairn, but due to the current restrictions, visits are by appointment only. For more information see their website here: https://www.mid-englandbarrow.co.uk/