On the 10th of April 2017 H.R.H. the Prince of Wales visited Cumbria for a jam packed, whistle stop tour of opening ceremonies, community events and clog dancing demos! The opening of the Whitehaven Foyer was one of the Prince's official engagements. The Whitehaven Foyer is a fantastic restoration of the old YMCA with an impressive new build that provides extensive sheltered housing for young people. Design Code was proud to design and fabricate wooden commemorative plaques using our CNC router to prepare for the official opening. 

Impact Housing, Howgill Family Centre and the Whitehaven Foyer Company welcomed Prince Charles, who unveiled our plaque and had a tour of the buildings. The photos below show the amazing transformation of the old YMCA.

The old YMCA building and all the associated community history will not be forgotten thanks to Howgill Arts practioners Janice Murray and Helen Morgan. Working in collaboration we fabricated a laser cut scale model YMCA dolls house.

This dolls house was designed as an interactive art piece, using transparent acrylic and colour changing LEDs that lit the engraved detail and linked back to the discos that were held in the YMCA during the 70's and 80's. This dynamic dolls houses sits on a beautiful oak table, designed and crafted by Alan Hawkins.

Janice, Helen and the young people involved with the Howgill Family Centre wanted the design to look to the past, present and future. The dolls house furniture represented objects associated with the past and what people would have enjoyed when they stayed in the YMCA; snooker table, record player, fishing rod, football etc. These scaled 2D objects were laser cut acrylic with printed vinyl stickers mounted on wooden blocks. The present was represented by the 'dolls' which were wooden blocks with laser etched children's sketches of family members, friends or self portraits. The young Howgill Family Centre members also looked to the future in words, laser engraved into the side of the dolls house; 'Follow your dreams for they are the hope of the future', 'it's a lot of give and take', 'it goes too quickly, just get out there and enjoy it'...

Helen Morgan presented the dolls house to Prince Charles, who evidently found some of the childrens artwork very entertaining. We love this picture of H.R.H. !


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