Author Christina Gabbitas visits new Covid memorial bench

Published Wednesday 23 November 2022 at 11:28

A Covid Memorial bench has been installed in Corporation Park, with poetry inscribed by award-winning children’s author and poet, Christina Gabbitas.

The bench is one of seventeen which has been placed across Blackburn with Darwen, each one being engraved with lines of poetry from members of the public. To read a more in-depth story of the inspiration behind the memorial initiative you can follow the link here.

Christina Gabbitas who was born in Blackburn published her first book Welcome To The World Of Felicity Fly in 2012. Since then she has published nine more stories with one going on to scoop up the ‘Best Achievement Award’ at the People’s Book Prize in 2019. Alongside her writing, she has taken part in numerous charitable causes and is the founder of Blackburn’s own Children’s Literature Festival.

And it was a combination of her writing and her connection to the borough that led her to write a poem on the bench that occupies a charming place near the duck pond in Corporation Park.

Speaking at the unveiling, Christina Gabbitas said –

‘Some of my favourite memories growing up are borrowing books from the Blackburn library, having coffee with friends, and then going to Corporation Park. You began to appreciate those memories a lot more during the Covid Lockdown, a period where it felt as though time had stood still. It was a feeling of that inspired this poem’

The first of the Covid Memorial Benches was unveiled on the 21st of October in Blackburn Town Centre, with the second making its debut shortly after on the same day in Darwen Town Centre. Both occasions were attended by Leader of the Council, Cllr Phil Riley, who also spoke about Corporation Park’s new bench-

‘It is wonderful to have a Covid Memorial Bench in one of the Borough’s most beloved parks. To also have the wonderful Christina Gabbitas who has done so much for charitable causes in the borough inscribe the poem  is extremely fitting. The poem surmises the beauty of nature, which is something many people missed during the lockdowns.’

You can see the complete interview with Christina Gabbitas below, as she discusses in detail what her inspirations are behind her poem and reflects on how life changed throughout the Covid-19 Lockdowns.

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