Acclaimed artist gifts Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre with picture – thanks to Stanley’s Stone Snake

Acclaimed Sheffield artist Joe Scarborough has presented Barlborough Treatment Centre with one of his pictures after learning about the centre through Stanley’s Stone Snake.

Four-year-old Stanley Briggs, the son of the treatment centre’s senior radiographer Adrian Briggs, had desperately wanted a pet snake. His mother, Emma Rose, suggested creating a snake of painted stones. The lockdown-friendly activity saw Stanley and pals create a snake made of 79 separate painted stones. Sadly, one morning the family awoke to find the snake gone.

Emma shared on Facebook the family’s distress at the theft. At that point, the community rallied around, delivering stones to the house for others to paint. The local police visited twice, placing their own painted stones on the tail; MP John Healy also added a stone, as did many others. The Ravenfield snake now has more than 900 stones and snakes around several houses.

One of the people to contribute a stone was Joe Scarborough, who sent his stone along with a picture of Captain America for Stanley. When he found that both Adrian and Emma are radiographers, Joe kindly pledged pictures to each of the hospitals where they work.

Adrian said: “We were both delighted. It is an acknowledgement of all the work people have done throughout. I am also very proud of Stanley – he has become an unintentional local celebrity. He has been very sensible throughout lockdown. He understands he must regularly wash his hands and socially distance, because of the virus, and he has loved watching the many visitors and dog walkers who come to see his remarkable stone snake.”

There are calls for the snake to be made a permanent feature of the village, eventually cemented as a reminder of lockdown, and the Briggs family will be meeting the parish council to see what the future holds for Stanley’s snake. Stanley will also be joining the team at Barlborough Treatment Centre for the official unveiling of the picture, post lockdown.