Statue attack recalled

The Queen Victoria statue outside the Town Hall, and below, Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow
The Queen Victoria statue outside the Town Hall, and below, Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow
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A NOTORIOUS student stunt involving Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow took place in Scarborough 45 years ago this month.

The 64-year-old was involved in white-washing the statue of Queen Victoria outside the Town Hall in March 1967.

Mr Snow made the revelation in 2004 while speaking to the Evening News about his autobiography.

The newsman recalled how he started his radical days in Scarborough after being sent to the town’s Technical College, now Yorkshire Coast College, in 1966, where he says he was transformed “from dunce to intellectual”.

He said: “I remember we got into trouble. We arranged Rag Week in Scarborough to make money for charity, but the town authorities refused to let us stage it. So we went on protest in the town and whitewashed all of the Queen Victoria statue.

“I wasn’t actually on it, but I do remember throwing some white paint at it. We weren’t ever done for it.”

Following Mr Snow’s admission his fellow former Technical College pupil John Edmond also owned up to his part in the attack.

Mr Edmonds, formerly of Princess Terrace, said: “We kept this hidden for years. It is interesting what Jon Snow hasn’t said, rather than what he has said.

“We were all part of the Students’ Union and decided we were going to hold a rag day, but we needed to get permission to collect money in the town.

“The person we needed to get permission from was the council clerk, a Mr Horsfall Turner. We sent Jon Snow and one of the other guys to see him at the Town Hall to put in our application. But he said no, he said there were already collections for charity in town and they would not do another.

“The Queen Victoria statue was right outside his office. We weren’t really doing it to knock the council, it was more against him. It got washed off the next morning, but we did it the next day as well.”

The following day, after admitting their stunt, the students were taken to Scarborough police station.

Mr Edmonds said: “We were all dragged up to the top floor to see CID because the Students’ Union had admitted liability for the statue.

“The guy said to us, ‘I know you didn’t do it, but I have been told by Mr Horsfall Turner that even if it takes 30 years I must find out who did it’. They just wouldn’t believe us. I was tempted on the 30th anniversary to own up.”