District Council releases video to give update on return of iconic statue to Coalville town centre

By Graham Hill

8th Jul 2024 | Local News

The Mother and Child Statue had been situated outside Coalville Library. Photo: Coalville Nub News
The Mother and Child Statue had been situated outside Coalville Library. Photo: Coalville Nub News

North West Leicestershire District Council has released a video explaining the return of the Mother and Child statue to Coalville town centre.

The council confirmed in January that the statue is to return to its original home in the Belvoir Shopping Centre.

It was moved from outside the library last September and will be cleaned and restored by Antique Bronze Ltd - the former restorers of Nelson's Column.

The District Council received £40,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reinvigorate the statue and return her to the original bronze colouring.

Now, the council says that the statue is to be positioned in the Belvoir Shopping Centre entrance, off Belvoir Road.

There is no timescale other than to say it will return 'shortly' due to planning and legal issues that have to be addressed.

Tom Stanyard, Senior Economic Development Officer, explains in the video that it is the Mother and Child's 60th anniversary of being unveiled in the town centre.

The statue was originally cast in 1963 for the opening of Coalville's New Broadway Shopping Centre, and was re-sited almost 30 years later outside the library.

Mr Stanyard explains on the video where the funding came from, who restored the statue, which features have been uncovered and which ones targeted.

He also shows exactly where the statue will be positioned, and why it has taken around 10 months' work.

The council was prompted in April to quash online rumours that the original statue had been replaced by a new sculpture.

The sculpture's original plinth is also being refurbished and will be reunited with the statue for the first time in almost 40 years.

Photo: North West Leicestershire District Council

The Mother and Child was created by sculptor Robert Thomas and depicts a parent and child with a shopping bag containing a lump of coal, bobbin and a doll to symbolise the three historical industries of Coalville.

Thomas was awarded the Sir Otto Beit Medal of Sculpture of Outstanding Merit of the Royal Society of British Sculptors for the piece and went on to produce similar works for other towns in the UK.

The statue was eventually moved from the shopping centre during renovation works and, in the 80s, was found in a skip by a District Council grounds maintenance officer.

     

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