Edith Cavell.; Source: Library

Poll: Artwork in Norwich set to honour three heroes - but who would you choose?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
8.49 AM

Three heroes of Norwich are to be “immortalised” as life-sized metal figures.

Norwich City Council has approved plans for a new piece of public artwork at the junction of Koblenz Avenue and Station Approach, near the train station and facing the Riverside complex.

School pupils were asked to put forward suggestions of people who have played an important role in the city.

Their ideas included: naval hero Lord Admiral Nelson; TV cook and joint Norwich City majority shareholder Delia Smith; Robert Kett, leader of the 16th century Kett’s Rebellion; legendary Norfolk lifeboatman Henry Blogg; Clive Dunn, best known for playing Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, filmed in Thetford; and Jeremiah Colman, founder of Colman’s Mustard.

Others included the Queen, Norwich City’s Grant Holt and Suffolk singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

American music star Bruno Mars also received a nomination, although his contribution to city life remains unclear.

The council has to install a portrait bench, which includes the artwork of the three figures, as part of the conditions for the £311,000 of Lottery cash it received to improve cycle links.

This has included a new path for pedestrians and cyclists at Mousehold Heath.

Jeff Jordan, from the Norwich Cycling Campaign, said: “It’s a huge input of money to improve the cycling facilities in Norwich and to make sure they connect up. It’s good to have local figures celebrated.”

Pupils from the three schools along the various cycle route changes – Open Academy, Sewell Park College and Angel Road Junior School – were asked to nominate suggestions for the portrait bench.

Council plans for the artwork stated: “Norwich recently received Lottery funding from Sustrans’ Connect 2 programme in order to construct a number of cycle projects in the city. A condition of funding is installation of a portrait bench, comprising a bench and a piece of public art depicting three individuals.

“The 2D life-size figures will immortalise three local people, heroes, characters or eminent figures.”

The documents added: “The figures are to be cut from Corten sheet steel, which weathers naturally over time and requires minimal maintenance.

“This is a highly durable material that will withstand the weather and deter acts of vandalism – graffiti artists dislike the broken steel surface of the figures.” Other towns and cities have also installed the same style of benches, including Glasgow. Comedian Billy Connolly and singer Lulu were among the Scottish city’s nominees. Norwich City Council hopes to reveal the three winning choices either next month or in March. No objections were lodged during the consultation on the bench plans.

Which Norwich hero would you like to see immortalised? Log on to www.edp24.co.uk to vote.

richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk