Blackpool teenagers reflect on the damage that knife crime can do following visit to Knife Angel monument
In the week that Blackpool Police held a drive to get illegal knives off Fylde coast streets, Blackpool youngsters took a trip to see the Knife Angel sculpture currently on display outside Blackburn Cathedral.
The 27ft high statue, has been made from 100,000 seized knives and blades by the British Ironwork Centre.
Members of the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club made the pilgrimage to see the huge work of art this week and recognised something of the sadness, regret and the burden of evil it carries, just like Marley’s Ghost in Dickens seasonal tale A Christmas Carol.
Youth workers from the club began to deliver programs around knife crime and its effects, and the young people had produced knife crime posters, 50 young people also attended the ‘JJ effect award winning knife crime workshop’.
The club’s fortnight of intensive events culminated with 12 Young people visiting the knife angel display.
Pete Riley, senior youth worker at the club said the members came up with some profound comments after seeing the statue, including pointing out how many ordinary kitchen knives were in the creation and how the angel looked sad and like Marley’s Ghost when he came to warn Scrooge to mend his ways in Dickens’ story.
He said: “The point made by the young people about the Knife Angel being similar to ‘Marley’s Ghost’ is indeed a profound one.
"They understood this completely and together we took the analogy further, so the the chain and money boxes he forged in life became like the myriad of knifes the poor ‘Knife Angel’ has to carry across the streets of Britain with all the terrible associated pain and anguish” that goes with knife crime.”
The knife angel was created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour and the critical need for social change. A spokesman from the British Ironwork Centre said it was a National Monument Against Violence and Aggression.
The spokesman said: “Not only does the angel act as a catalyst for turning the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour, but it is also acts as a beautiful memorial designed to celebrate those lives who have been lost through these violent and thoughtless actions.
The visit of the Knife Angel to Blackburn was organised by the Vice Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, Canon Missioner Rowena Pailing and her team to form a month long educational project about the dangers of knife crime in the county. It will be there until November 29.