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A unique piece of artwork was installed in Northallerton last week as a lasting tribute to a former store manager.

Faye Stevenson tragically lost her life to cancer 18 months ago – at the age of just 43 – but her colleagues wanted there to be a lasting reminder of her.

Working with local charity, Chopsticks, they created a temporary wooden train – modelled on the Stephenson’s Rocket – which was placed on the wall next to the Tesco store in East Road.  The memorial was welcomed by the public as a colourful improvement to New Row – the route between the store and the High Street.

Last week it was replaced with a cast iron replica as a permanent reminder to her.  It was incorporated into Hambleton District Council’s Northallerton Improvement project which is upgrading the town centre and the passageways that lead to the town centre.  The wall of the New Row route has been rebuilt in traditional materials and with additional funding from Northallerton BID the cast iron train was created.

“Faye had been at the Northallerton store for around ten years when she died of a rare type of cancer.   She was a very big part of the store – she was always so bright and bubbly and her friends and colleagues wanted her to be forever remembered,” said Store Manager, Marianna.

“This new permanent artwork is a beautiful tribute and it will constantly be filled with plants and flowers to show our respect to her.   It is a perfect tribute.”

And District Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson, added: “This is an extra special touch to the work undertaken to improve New Row – we are delighted to have been able to work with Tesco and the BID to create this lasting memorial.”

The train was created by specialist local craftsmen at Chris Topp near Easingwold – they create bespoke wrought ironwork and bronze metalwork.

The carriages of the previous wooden train are being rehomed in the gardens of Faye’s family and friends.

The Northallerton improvement scheme, which is upgrading the town centre and the passageways that lead to the town centre, is being funded by the District Council, Northallerton BID and the North Yorkshire and York Local Enterprise Partnership.

  • Faye’s store colleagues have also undertaken fundraising for Faye’s family – and her two children Finley and Etta – and two charities, AMMF and St Leonards Hospice in York.  Just days before her death in June 2019 they walked 26 miles from Tesco York Clifton Moor to Tesco Thirsk to raise money and awareness of the charities and to show support for Faye

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