We’re lis­ten­ing

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

TWO large sound mir­rors have been in­stalled close to GCHQ.

But it seems it has noth­ing to do with the so­phis­ti­cated in­tel­li­gence work be­ing un­der­taken at the world­fa­mous site on the edge of the town.

In­stead, the con­crete blocks form the cen­tral part of a new piece of art­work by Cole­ford-based Rob Olins, which has just been in­stalled on the King Ge­orge V Play­ing Fields in Hester’s Way.

Called the Lis­ten­ing Dragon, it fea­tures the two white sound mir­rors plus pieces of wood that form part of a mostly un­der­ground dragon.

A plaque at the site ex­plains that the sculp­ture was in­spired by chil­dren at Rowan­field Ju­nior School and res­i­dents at work­shops in Hester’s Way. Mr Olins in­tended the piece to show part of a dragon that is lis­ten­ing to what is go­ing on around it.

The sound mir­rors can, ap­par­ently, make the spo­ken word seem un­usu­ally loud at a par­tic­u­lar spot at the site.

Vis­i­tors to the at­trac­tion can find out more about it by read­ing the de­tails on the plaque.

It says: “Sound mir­rors were one of GCHQ’S first projects which were used to track en­emy air­ships off the east coast of Britain dur­ing the First World War.”

The art­work was com­mis­sioned by Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil.

Fund­ing came from sources in­clud­ing the coun­cil, Hester’s Way Part­ner­ship, The Sum­mer­field Trust and Markey De­vel­op­ments LLP.

Rob Olins from Cole­ford with the art­work Pic­ture: Mikal Lud­low Pho­tog­ra­phy

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