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23rd December 2014 - Press Release

Dove of Peace brings Port and community together

The iconic sculpture, the Dove of Peace, by Anthony Heywood, has been unveiled at a moving and spectacular public event at the Port of Dover. Taking place in the presence of The Viscount De L'Isle MBE, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, the Dove was dramatically revealed amidst singing, smoke and searchlights.

Attended by around 300 people, the occasion started in virtual darkness with a reading of The Night Before Christmas 1914, an adaptation of the original poem by Richard J Davis, followed by readings of letters from the trenches describing the memorable events of Christmas Day 1914. These were interspersed with carols, being performed in both English and German, that are known to have been sung during the 1914 Christmas Day truce.

Then, after a minute’s silence, the sculpture, a full size white spitfire made from a special type of paper developed at the former Buckland Paper Mill in Dover, was revealed as red light filled the building, smoke swirled around the Dove, the Pharos Chamber Choir sang a special rendition of In Flanders Fields and white searchlights shot huge white rays through the former Dover Marine Railway Station building to land on Anthony Heywood’s stirring sculpture.

Reflecting on the occasion, Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said:

“This wonderful event is a seminal moment for the Port, its commitment to its community and for the future use of such an historic building. This is the culmination of much work with a great many partners and is the launch pad for a new era for this place. Seeing so many members of our community come and be part of our shared story is simply wonderful.”

The installation of the Dove of Peace is part of the Port of Dover’s commitment to commemorating both World War I and II.  The Cruise Terminal 1 building, which hosted the event, played a significant role as a staging post during both world wars for troops leaving to fight and returning home, and actually saw troops and supplies heading to the Western Front as its first passengers.

Seeing his sculpture revealed, Anthony Heywood said:

“The Dove of Peace symbolises heroism, individualism and belief, it symbolises self-preservation, fear and the shattering of young lives. I am extremely grateful to the Port of Dover for bringing such an iconic symbol home, and to such an incredible and resonant building.”

The event was very much a collaboration between many parties and the Port would like to thank the following people and organisations who helped to bring it to fruition:

University for the Creative Arts for funding and resources

ICR (Interregional Culture-led Regeneration) project selected under Interreg IV A France (Channel) England Programme co-financed by European Regional Development Fund for funding and support

FM Conway for providing plant and resources for the installation

Free4M for modelling and designing the suspension cables and plates

Stevens and Carlotti for manufacturing the hanging mechanisms

British Steel for funding the sculpting

Rainham Steel for funding the sculpting

Parkers Steel for funding the sculpting

Arjo Wiggins Teape for developing a unique paper for the exterior

Buckland Paper Mill for manufacturing the paper material

Canterbury City Council for resources during the sculpting

Artful Logistics for transportation and rigging

Dover Arts Development

E K Burts Paper

Pharos Chamber Choir

EastKoast Production Company

Karole Steel from Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society


Issued by Corporate Affairs on 01304 240400 (ext. 4410 from 8.30 – 17.00)

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