Sculpture: Freddie has his winter coat

Re Freddie Gilroy Sculpture.

It’s now two years since Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers sculpture by Ray Lonsdale was sited on the Marine Drive in North Bay.

The cort-ten weathering steel has now matured well, despite the salt-laden atmosphere and frequent drenchings in sea water and seaweed. Only one very small area appeared to blister, but even this seemed to rectify itself over the last five months.

Readers and visitors have frequently enquired whether Freddie would have to be moved, or treated to resist weathering.

The good news is that he is to remain in his present site. Thanks to Mr Steve Reynolds (Environment and Countryside Manager), and Mr Andy Skelton who helped organise procedures, Freddie has now received his new coat - just in time for Christmas!

Conditions had to be just right for the washing, drying and application of Owatrol oil. He then had to be enclosed within barriers whilst the oil dried to the extent that there was no risk of oil transfer to anyone’s clothing or skin.

We’re now delighted to report that the procedure has proved successful and Freddie looks quite handsome in his protective coating.

We understand that the situation will be monitored, and should a further coat of Owatrol be considered beneficial, this would be applied in the New Year.

I’m sure everyone will wish me to convey sincere thanks to all concerned in the time-consuming task. We certainly very much appreciated their efforts and concern for Freddie’s future.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Maureen and Michael Robinson

Malvern Crescent