Sculpture to get thank-you plaque

rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Scarborough Evening News'Picture shows Maureen Robinson celebrates her �48k purchase of a giant sculpture showing a retired miner who was one of the first soldiers to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany at the end of World War Two. 'The  eye-catching sculpture was fabricated by sculptor Ray Lonsdale and sits on Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough called Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers
rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Scarborough Evening News'Picture shows Maureen Robinson celebrates her �48k purchase of a giant sculpture showing a retired miner who was one of the first soldiers to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany at the end of World War Two. 'The eye-catching sculpture was fabricated by sculptor Ray Lonsdale and sits on Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough called Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers

SCARBOROUGH’S North Bay giant is to be adorned with a plaque in honour of the generosity of Maureen Robinson.

Mrs Robinson bought the sculpture, entitled Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers, as a gift to the town.

Her only wish was that Freddie remains on his bench in the North Bay for all to see.

Following her £48,000 spend, Scarborough Council is proposing to erect a plaque on the sculpture to inform those passing by of Mrs Robinson’s generosity.

Brian Bennett, head of tourism and culture at the authority, said: “If the council do adopt the sculpture it would be fitting to mark the generosity of Mrs Maureen Robinson by means of a quality and robust plaque on the site.”

The council’s Cabinet is today reviewing a report recommending councillors seek appropriate planning consent and insure, maintain and display the sculpture in North Bay.

The report states that as well as providing a plaque, a letter of thanks should also be sent to Mrs Robinson.

Mr Bennett added: “This report concerns a very generous gift of a sculpture to the people of Scarborough and the request for the council to adopt the artwork and look after it for all to enjoy over many years.”

The sculpture was created by artist Ray Lonsdale, and was originally on loan for display in the North Bay until December 10.

Depicting a man wearing a cloth cap and an overcoat sitting on a bench, the sculpture proved to be a popular fixture, so much so that local resident Jakki Willby started a campaign to raise the money to buy the sculpture.

Just a matter of days later Mrs Robinson came forward, stating she was willing to stump up the full amount.

Mrs Willby has now offered the money she raised to fund the plaque and interpretation panel proposed.

The council is facing a planning fee of £170, and will have to insure and maintain the sculpture, however Mr Bennett says he expects the costs to be “very small” given the robustness of the material.