AN artistic tribute to a former MP is being unveiled today at a town’s newly-refurbished boating lake.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is hosting an afternoon of celebration in honour of former Redcar MP Mo Mowlam.

Her brother and sister, Jim Mowlam and Jean Jacques, together with Ms Mowlam’s close friend, former councillor and mayor Vilma Collins, will reveal a mosaic of 800 tiles set in a raised three-metre circle near the water’s edge at the town’s boating lake.

Created by artist John Todd, it illustrates her life and interests, with her portrait at the centre, surrounded by images, including the beach where she loved to walk, racehorses at Redcar Racecourse, where she celebrated her wedding, the steelworks, Zetland lifeboat, clasped hands and doves to symbolise the Northern Ireland peace process, in which she was heavily involved, and the Houses of Parliament.

Council leader George Dunning said: “I am almost certain she will be looking down from heaven at the mosaic and saying ‘thank you very much, it’s perfect’. I knew Mo for many, many years and she was a wonderful person. She was most definitely a person for the people.

“She will be so proud that the mosaic covers every aspect of her life and the things she loved.”

The project has been organised by former Redcar and Cleveland mayors, including Mrs Collins, and councillors Peter Spencer, Madge Moses and Norah Cooney.

It was funded by public donations, which raised £12,000, including contributions from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, fellow MPs, elected members, businesses, unions and local people.

Plans had been in place to install the mosaic last year, but a major refurbishment of the boating lake has delayed the installation and now a double celebration is planned, with the public welcome to attend.

The entertainment will begin at 1.40pm with a performance from Marske Fishermen’s Choir, followed by the official reopening of the boating lake by Mayor Brian Briggs.

It will be followed by songs from children at Wheatlands and Coatham primary schools.

Redcar MP Vera Baird will explain about the mosaic, how the memorial came about and praise the public’s contributions.

She will introduce Mrs Collins, who was Mo’s agent when she was re-elected as Redcar MP in 1992, to talk about her friendship with Mo.