Talented sculptor Mark Richards has been awarded the commission to design, create and install the Vernon Minewarfare & Diving monument and a contract has been signed with a “Ready for Installation” date of 1 March 2020.
Mark’s one-and-a-quarter scale structure will take the form of a British Mk 17 moored mine complemented by two divers wearing equally iconic CDBA (Clearance Diver Breathing Apparatus). Respectively, these elements will represent members of the mine warfare & diving community and celebrate their work - past, present and future.
The sculpture will stand proud of the surface of Pool B which is the middle of the three basins leading from the main gate in Gunwharf Quays, the residential, retail and marina development in Portsmouth. This was previously occupied by HMS VERNON, the Royal Navy’s alma mater of mine warfare & diving and base for mine countermeasures vessels. Here, it will be seen by a footfall of 8 million visitors per year. An artist’s impression of the monument in situ will be released shortly.
It is intended to dedicate the monument next spring in the presence of a VVIP. In the meantime, fundraising continues for Phase 2, the means by which everything the monument signifies will be explained to the public.
Mark Richards has started publishing a blog to update supporters on his progress which will be available on http://vernonmonument.blogspot.com.
Other examples of his work can be seen at: www.markrichards.eu.