29 Jan Call for statue of Sir Winston Churchill in town where he began career
The latest news related to custom bronze statues across the Atlantic will always interest us here at Big Statues, and our eye was certainly caught by the news of a campaign for a statue of the late, great former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill, in the English town of Oldham, Lancashire.
A Liberal Democrat councilor for the town, Howard Sykes MBE, has written an open letter to council bosses, urging them to erect a statue in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the statesman’s death on January 24, 1965. Sykes spoke of the ex-Prime Minister’s “very real connection” with the town, Oldham having been where he began his career as a Member of Parliament.
Born into aristocracy at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Churchill served as a British Army Officer in the Sudan before entering politics, representing the Oldham constituency between 1900 and 1906, before moving onto the Manchester North West constituency until 1908. His other political roles included Chancellor, Home Secretary and Minister of Munitions during the First World War.
However, he will always be best remembered for his time as British Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945, and again between 1951 and 1955. He was one of the 20th century’s most iconic wartime leaders, and was even the sole British Prime Minister to receive a Nobel Prize, in addition to being the first to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Well-recalled, too, for his witty speeches, cigars and ‘V for victory’ signs, Sir Winston Churchill remains a colossus in 20th century history, making the clamor for another statue of the great man unsurprising. This is particularly the case in the light of his Oldham links, with Sykes suggesting that he had spoken of “the warm hearts and bright eyes of its people” and that “No one can come in close contact with the working folk of Lancashire without wishing them well.”
Sykes added, according to the Mancunian Matters website: “Winston Churchill was the first elected MP for Oldham so I think I think it’s only right we celebrate his very real connection with our borough. There isn’t anything to commemorate him here except for a little blue plaque but as part of our redevelopment plans we will be opening the new Parliament Square, so what better place to erect a statue?”
As enthusiasts (and of course creators) of custom bronze statues ourselves, here at Big Statues we welcome another statue commemorating such an important historic figure, and we will certainly keep a close eye on this story over the coming year to see what transpires.