A TWO-ton commemorative stone sculpture which is now at the 33rd Royal Engineers Regiment Bomb Disposal Unit HQ in Essex has further strengthed the link between the regiment and the island.

The bravery of the team from the regiment, headed by Captain Mike Lobb, detonated the Portland Bomb in 1995 and this made them local heroes and part of the island's history.

The unit already has a plain Portland stone which was carved in France but last December it was decided that they wanted a sculpture, with stone direct from Bower's Quarry and carved by a local artist.

The commission went to Hannah Sofaer and Paul Crabtree of Learningstone in Easton Street and, with the details sculpted by Hannah, the work of every man in the unit has been honoured.

The project involved much preparation before Hannah could start on the relief work six weeks ago. This shows a bomb disposal expert among a mass of rubble with the tools of his trade by his side as he feeds a water pipe into a trepanning machine on top of a 1000lb bomb - which incidently is the size of the Portland Bomb which is on permanent display in the grounds of Portland Museum.

Paul Crabtree said: "This has been an exciting and interesting project and Hannah has made a wonderful job of the relief work which she decided on in consultation with the bomb disposal unit.

"The sculpture has also held the attention of many local people who have visited our workshop to follow the development step by step."

Hannah added: "It has been a pleasure and an honour to have carried out this commission and I wish to thank our volunteers who have been doing the more mundane jobs associated with the project."

With suitable flat-top transport, Cpl Kevin Willingham and Sapper David Stevenson made the journey from Essex to collect the sculpture.

They told the team at Learningstone that the sculpture will be fitted in place on the parade ground in time for the unit's Remembrance Day Parade which was held on Saturday at 11am.