Campaign update: £10,000 raised for Queen sculpture at Bexleyheath Clock Tower

The sculptured bust of the Queen planned for Bexleyheath Clock Tower

The sculptured bust of the Queen planned for Bexleyheath Clock Tower

First published in Bexley News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A CAMPAIGN to install a bronze sculpture of the Queen at Bexleyheath Clock Tower is halfway to its fundraising target. 

The project has seen £10,000 raised since June 4 last year for the making and fitting of the bust of Her Majesty in celebration of the sovereign’s Diamond Jubilee last June.

Sculptor Frances Segelman created the design after being granted three one-hour private sittings with the Queen.

The aim is to install the new sculpture in the south plinth of the Clock Tower to go with the bust of King George V on the east-facing side — but another £10,000 is needed to reach the £20,000 target.

Campaign manager Ian Payne says it would be fitting to have the Queen in place given the history of the Clock Tower.

He said: “It’s tough times in the country these days to have something positive like this.

“The unveiling is going to be in June and it’s going to be a great day.”

The Bexleyheath Town Centre Manager added: “People are very pleased this is what we are doing because when the Clock Tower was originally unveiled in 1912 the mayor of the day said it would be great to have busts of other royal family members to go with the one of King George.”

The Bexleyheath Coronation Memorial Clock Tower commemorates the coronation of King George V in 1911, stands 46ft tall and cost £454 to build.

During the 1930s the bust of King George fell apart after cleaning.

Following the Second World War, renowned sculptor John Ravera, from Bexleyheath, recast it.

In 1996, Mr Ravera was commissioned to sculpt a bust on the west-facing plinth of Bexleyheath to mark the centenary of the death of textile designer and artist William Morris.

Ms Segelman is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has already sculpted busts of the Queen as well as the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir David Frost, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Jack Rosenthal, Cherie Blair and John Profumo.

The associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors saw her statue of former Leeds United footballer Billy Bremner unveiled outside the club’s Elland Road Stadium in 1999.

The pouring of the new bust will take place this week and will be the fourth one made from Ms Segelman’s original design.

The campaign is holding a red, white and blue mufti day for local schools on March 1 and a fundraising dinner at the Bexleyheath Marriott on March 17 to be attended by Ms Segelman.

Donations can be made at any Nat West Bank by quoting BBP Jubilee Appeal, sort code 51-70-14 account 78333040 or by sending a cheque made payable to BBP Jubilee Appeal c/o Marks & Spencer, 55 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7JN.

Find out more about the campaign at facebook.com/BringTheQueenToBexleyheath?ref=ts&fref=ts

Superstamp

The campaign for the bronze of the Queen is not the only patriotic project in Bexley.

Robert Boyd from Sidcup is gunning for a world record with his 26ft by 23ft portrait of the monarch made entirely of stamps.

It took 72,000 stamps and five years to make one giant recreation of a 6½p stamp which is not far short of the world record of 102,000 stamps for a single design.

The Bedens Road resident is hoping to smash that by adding a postmark to his creation to take it up to 250,000 stamps. 

The 69-year-old said: "I wish I had made it bigger to be honest as I would like to get the record."

The retired builder failed in his attempt to get the design hung on the front of TK Maxx in Bexleyheath and his dream would be to have it up in the Tate Modern once it reaches world-beating size.

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