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Category Archives: New Central

The former Jam drummer Rick Buckler today marked the end of a long campaign by many locals by unveiling an abstract artwork honouring the Woking band. Around 100 or so Jam fans turned up for today’s ceremony at Barratt’s New Central development near Woking station. The sculpture, by artist Richard Heys, is called The Space Between, and is comprised of three shaped pieces of wood, seven metres high. Heys said at the unveiling that he liked to make the kind of art that “we can relate to through time, and build a relationship with”. Woking council’s chief executive, Ray Morgan, who was also at the ceremony, said: “Public art stimulates reactions in people.” He referred to Woking’s Lightbox gallery, which people “either love or hate”.

But the day really belonged to the 100 or so Jam fans who had made  pilgrimages to be there – fans like Danny Plunkett, who had flown in from Dublin that morning with Jam singles autographed by Paul Weller in his rucksack, hoping that Rick Buckler would add his monicker when he got a chance to meet him later in the day. He and his friend Steve Kerr, from Nottingham, right, were both wearing Town Called Malice T-shirts. There was also 17-year-old Billy Sullivan from Watford, below, right, looking like a young Paul Weller, who reckoned he had been a fan of the Jam since he was aged eight, many years after the band had broken up. He plays in a band himself, IMG01333-20120712-1457called the Spitfires. A number of Jam hits, including In the City, This Is The Modern World, Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, and David Watts –  were played over  loudspeakers to get the crowd in the mood before the dignitaries arrived. And whatever you think of the sculpture – Danny Plunkett admitted he was “a bit underwhelmed”, but give it time, the artist said – there is now a tangible tribute to the band in the town, with a plaque. Paul Weller may have called Woking a Town Called Malice – but Woking showed today that it doesn’t bear a grudge, and is proud of some of its most famous sons.