May 23 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Bideford statue of famous author is restored to former glory following Manor Court presentment.
A STATUE that has stood in Bideford for more than a century is being cleaned and restored by the town council.
Loose fingers and a broken quill on the statue of author Charles Kingsley are also being repaired at a total cost of £2,500.
Heather Blackburn, town clerk, said: “It needed a specialist clean and Bideford Town Council had to seek permission from the conservation officer at Torridge District Council as well as advice on approved cleaning specialists from English Heritage.
“I’m told the cleaning has been very successful and that the scaffolding should be coming down within the next couple of weeks.”
Charles Kingsley came to Bideford in 1854, when he hired a house at the end of the Strand (now Stella Maris Court) and wrote his best-selling novel Westward Ho!
The success of the book attracted many people to visit Bideford and the town council at the time decided something should be put in place in the town to commemorate the author, who died in 1875.
A memorial committee was set up in 1903 by the Mayor to put a statue in place, and in February 1906 it was unveiled.
It is not known when the statue was last cleaned but it is believed to be somewhere in the region of around 30 years ago.