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Percy the Peacock Sculpture

Percy the Peacock statue

A peacock is probably the last thing you expect to see at a hospital. But this unusual sight greeted hundreds of visitors to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) near Gobowen in Shropshire for over 20 years.

“Percy” first landed in the RJAH grounds 22 years ago after flying from a nearby farm. The peacock was returned but apparently preferred life at the hospital and made his way back almost immediately.

From then on, Percy the Peacock became a permanent fixture and a favourite with visitors and patients - despite being a little grumpy at times; he once chased away a would-be mate and did not take kindly to moving vehicles coming too near.

Sad Farewell to Percy

By late 2016, Percy had begun to show his age. He was taken ill a week before Christmas then after veterinary treatment seemed to make a miraculous recovery. Sadly, he took a sudden turn for the worst and passed away on 2nd January 2017 in the arms of Tracy Dunbar, a medical secretary at the hospital.

Hospital Chief Executive Mark Brandreth, speaking at the time, said:

"Percy had become something of a legend here over the years. He will be sadly missed by everyone but very fondly remembered."

After the news broke of Percy's passing, the hospital was inundated with messages on social media.

Percy’s Legacy

RJAH had already been thinking about a tribute to its famous mascot and took action after Percy’s death. Beverley Tabernacle, Director of Nursing, said:

“Percy was a big part of everyday life at RJAH – he was well known to patients and visitors alike.

“We had already been looking at creating a sculpture to recognise his significance to our hospital after some staff in our Sterile Services Department had suggested creating something out of theatre equipment that would otherwise have been thrown away.

“When Percy died just after the New Year, we knew we had to do something to mark his importance to our story, so this just made sense.”

Black Country Metal Works was delighted to create a stunning sculpture of Percy as a gift to the hospital.

"Charity work and community engagement runs through every fibre of our business, it is at the very heart of what we do, so we were delighted to take up this opportunity to work with our local hospital,” said Clive Knowles, Chairman.

The sculpture of Percy was designed and created by artist Luke Kite at Black Country Metal Works form the obsolete hospital equipment.

Percy the Peacock statue unveiled by Princess

Princess Unveils Percy’s Statue

Percy’s beautiful statue now stands upon a plinth outside the hospital’s Main Entrance. It was unveiled on 22 July 2017 by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, who also officially opened a £15.1 million Theatre and Oncology building.

Beverley Tabernacle, said:  “It was wonderful that we were able to time this project to coincide with our Royal visit – and what a fitting way to pay tribute to Percy.

“He will now sit outside our Main Entrance for years to come, greeting patients and visitors alike.”

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