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‘Royle Family’ Unveil New Public Bench In Little Melton

Phil and Bonnie Royle and their daughter Grace unveil the new bench watched by Tony Abel left and James Spedding right sm

A specially commissioned metal and wood bench has been unveiled in Little Melton – the gift from a locally-based house builder to mark the creation of a new community of 28 homes in the village.

The seat was unveiled by the village’s own ‘Royle family’: Phil and Bonnie Royle and their daughter Grace, the first family to purchase one of the new homes at The Limes, off Mill Road.

The bench, created by artisans led by James Spedding at Holkham Forge, is the latest is a series of public artworks commissioned by Abel Homes, which in 2008 committed to creating a public artwork by a local artist at each of the sites where it builds new homes.

The unveiling took place at a special party held by the house builder to welcome residents to their new homes.

Abel Homes chairman Tony Abel told them, “Ten years ago we made a commitment that we would commission a local artist to make a piece of public artwork at every site where we build new homes.  The idea was to create something which would act as the centrepiece of the new community and give it a sense of identity.

“This is the ninth such commission we have unveiled, and I hope that residents will enjoy using the seat for many years to come.”

The artwork is the second to be commissioned by Abel Homes from Holkham Forge, a collective of traditional artist blacksmiths and sculptors based on the Holkham Estate.  The metal back of the seat is loosely themed around a tree, reflecting the nearby Jubilee lime tree which was planted by the vicar of Little Melton in 1887, to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Abel Homes is building 28 new family homes on the site, all of which have the top ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency.  The new homes include features such as photo-voltaic solar panels, triple glazing and high levels of insulation, and will also feature fibre broadband direct to each home. 

Since its launch in April last year the new homes have been in high demand, with just two homes remaining available for sale on the site.