Campaign for new Market Place statue

Knaresborough Market Place - where campaigners want to see a new statue of Mother Shipton.  100604M2e.
Knaresborough Market Place - where campaigners want to see a new statue of Mother Shipton. 100604M2e.

A campaign has started to bring a new bronze statue of a famous Knaresborough resident to the town’s Market Place.

Knaresborough resident Terry Maude wants to see a bronze of Mother Shipton installed on a bench close to the already much-loved Blind Jack figure.

Mr Maude, who was also involved in the campaign to bring Blind Jack to the square, said:

“We need a community project for 2013. Last year we had the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics, and the town was buzzing.

“Next year we will have the cycling, but this year could be a bit flat.”

The town council has thrown its weight behind the plan and councillors voted to support the scheme at a meeting on Monday, April 22.

Now Mr Maude wants to see a fundraising committee formed to raise money for the scheme, before an empty shop is taken over for a sculptor to work in the public’s view.

Artist Chris Kelly has already signed up to produce the statue.

Chris, who has worked on public art in towns including Newport and Carlisle, said he wants to involve the community in his design for a Mother Shipton statue.

“I will involve schools in the project. As a sculptor you give a sculpture to the community you make it for.

“I won’t make sculpture you do not want. It will be a very open and public process.”

Now Mr Maude plans to approach the highways authority for permission to site the statue in the market place, before pressing ahead with fundraising for the scheme.

Once the first £8,000-£10,000 is raised – around two thirds of the sculptures estimated cost – Mr Maude said they will be able to go ahead with the project with the remainder of the costs underwritten. He hopes to attract donations from businesses around the town towards the scheme.

The planned sculpture will sit on a bench close to the market cross, with its back to Blind Jack’s pub and facing Thomas the Bakers.

Town councillors praised Mr Maude’s enthusiasm for the initiative, and voted to support the project in principle.