VIDEO: Heartfelt tribute to Grenfell victims as hand-painted rocks from Ely with the names of each of the 72 victims will be taken to the scene
PUBLISHED: 15:50 13 June 2018
A sign of faith, goodwill and hope will be taken from Ely to Grenfell Tower in the form of hand-painted rocks to honour the 72 victims who lost their lives one year ago.
Fleur Patten, who runs Ely Rock Eels, will take the rocks to the scene of the disaster tomorrow (June 14) as part of the 24-hour vigil, after they were blessed by the Bishop of Huntingdon.
“I wanted them to know that it was not just London who cared but it could have happened anywhere,” she said.
All 72 rocks are painted with the names of the victims and will be offered to the families before either being left at the Wall of Truth or a nearby church.
They have been exhibited in the window of the Eel Catcher’s Daughter in High Street, Ely, in recent weeks – attracting attention from across the city.
Fleur, who has been heavily involved in the aftermath of Grenfell, said: “It occurred to me that the one year anniversary was getting closer and that the one thing I could do was paint on rocks.
“I decided to paint 72 rocks, one for each victim, and put their name on it. I read about each individual. It made it real.
“Then I did two more groups of rocks, with inspirational messages on and some with just ‘unknown’ as they believe many more lost their lives.
“When they were here in the Eel Catcher’s window with the cathedral behind I thought it would be a nice thing to have a blessing and take that faith from one place to another.”
The rocks were donated from Sally Bibby at Sid Bibby Turf and Landscaping Ltd.
Sally was touched to find that the last rock she picked up was in the shape of a heart.
She said: “I did not take it in at first and it was when we were counting up to 72 that these rocks meant a life so it was really meaningful.
“I picked up the last rock and it was the heart shape rock which has Grenfell written on. It was really special.
“We washed them and made sure that they were all the same and we had a little tear.
“Suddenly from giving away a load of rocks and knowing that they had a name on them and will be taken to Grenfell just meant so much.”
Revd David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon, said: “We need physical and tangible signs – if we give a rock then it’s really special. It’s a sign of good wishes and hope for the person who has died from us far away.”
Fleur’s group Ely Rock Eels was started last October.
She calls it “anonymous acts of kindness” where rocks are scattered around the town and strangers post them on social media.