I always knew she was somewhere round the town. I had never really looked for her . My parents had told me about her . She had been moved and no doubt the woke brigade would like to pull her down .
She started life in the Guildhall Square before she was shipped out to a quiet corner in the Belle Vue Park . I had talked about going to find her yesterday and had I chosen that day to find her I would perhaps instead have found a dead body . The park was closed off due to the sudden discovery of a corpse presumably a drug addict who had died from an overdose or the remains of someone who died from natural causes . Today I was lucky in that there were no police about, no taped off areas and the park was free to wander round .
I was surprised how large the park was . Set mostly to grass with the odd flower bed here and there . Football pitches and a playground for the kids . A bandstand where at one time the local brass bands would play on a
Sunday . The trees were mature and the park set out in an Edwardian style . There were quite a few people wandering round the park . Some taking short cuts across the town from one side to the other .Mums with prams and young children . The park was well used . The paths led off in all different directions .
I left my search until today. Odd that in all my years of living in the town and even working just up the road from the park I had never once set foot in there . Sometimes I would walk past the gates but never go in . I would walk the roads around the park but never venture through the doors. Today I entered the park through Belle Vue Road one of many entrances dotted around the park . Great gates were open for free entry and would only be closed at dusk .
So what was I looking for . A bronze larger than life statue of Queen Victoria herself . So how does the story go? Why did we end up with a statue of the Queen in our small market
town . And why was she stuck out of town in a park rather than in a prominent place .
We have to go back to 1903 two years after Victorias death . The country was erecting statues to Victoria all the time . Every town must have considered erecting one for their much loved and elderly monarch .
The sculptor Henry Price a Wrexham lad had been a pupil at the Wrexham Science and Art School before moving to London to further his career. He had been commissioned to prepare a large bronze sculpture for the Military Academy in Woolwich . Wrexham could have the cast if they wanted it. All that was needed was for them to find the money to fund the bronze and the casting. If they found the money then the intention was to cast Victoria and place her in front of the new Carnegie Free Library . The cost would be £210 and the town council promised to kick the fund off with a donation of £13 10/= . By 1904 £105 had been raised to cover some of the cost of the 7 foot 8" statue . The money though was
slow to come and it seemed that the town would never raise enough . They did manage to fund it in the end and the statue was commissioned. Victoria would be dressed in her usual black mourning dress aged around 42. She would carry her orb and sceptre and look particulary regal .
A stone plinth was required and this was donated by local businessman Dennis who chose light sand coloured Cefn stone which was in keeping with the area .. An inscription around the plinth gave the dates of Victorias birth and death . A metal plaque told the story of the donation and the local lad who made good.
I was pleased I had found her in her tree covered corner of the park. She looked down through the Edwardian parkland of mature trees towards the bandstand. She was the symbol of empire and probably would in the future be a target of the woke brigade who would hate what she stood for . Whatever I thought I found the statue a fascinating part of the towns history hidden in clear sight. There is so much history hidden away in quiet corners . I just needed
to search them out .
Tot: 0.064s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0348s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb