28 Jul Statue of Captain Smith of the Titanic is Restored
The newly restored statue is an attraction to visitors
A famous bronze statue of Captain Smith, master of the ill-fated Titanic ship, has a new look.
The statue, which was erected in Beacon Park in Lichfield in 1914, has been restored, as part of a project to improve the cathedral area of the city.
Though he was born in Stoke-on-Trent, there is no memorial to Captain Smith in his home town.
The Titanic sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 after striking an iceberg.
The statue of Captain Edward John Smith is now a central feature in Beacon Park, which is just yards from Lichfield Cathedral Close. It is now nearly 8ft (2.4m) tall, standing on a 7ft (2.1m) plinth of Cornish granite.
It shows him in defiant pose, reminding us of his famous last words, “Be British”.
It was created by a famous sculptor of the time, Lady Kathleen Scott. Lady Scott knew herself of the grief of losing a man to his duty; she was the widow of Robert Falcon Scott, the doomed Captain Scott of the Antarctic.
The story goes however that the authorities in Stoke-on-Trent refused the statue, even though Captain Smith had been born and raised in Hanley, not wishing to be associated with the perceived disgrace.
The statue had begun to show it age displaying a dull patina
The statue and plinth have now been conserved and cleaned as part of Lichfield District Council’s and Lichfield City Council’s multi-million pound project to transform the area of Beacon Park, The Garden of Remembrance and the Minster Pool & Walk.
This restoration comes hot on the heels of the recently restored Edward VII statue, also in the Beacon Park Museum Gardens, which was unveiled earlier this July.
Lichfield councillor Neil Roberts said: “The statue looks fantastic and is a fitting tribute to the memory of RMS Titanic.”
This work has been possible thanks to £3.9 million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, as part of their Parks for People programme.