Fundraising starts to replace our town’s stolen Bayes statues

TODMORDEN Civic Society has embarked on a project to raise funds to replace the two statues stolen from the Garden of Remembrance, Centre Vale Park, around twenty years ago.

The statues, entitled “The Lamp of Memory” and “The Shield of Honour” were sculpted by Gilbert Bayes, a well-known sculptor from London, whose parents were originally from Todmorden, and were erected in 1921 to honour the fallen Todmorden soldiers of the First World War.

The estimated cost of the project is in the region of £15,000 and it is hoped this will be met by fundraising events and individual private donations, as well as an element of grant funding. The Garden of Remembrance was designed by London Architect, Norman Thorp - son of the late Dr C.W. Thorp of Todmorden - and paid for by public subscription and contributions from local employers.

After discussions with Calderdale Council’s war memorials officer and parks and gardens area manager, who gave their full support to the project, Todmorden Civic Society submitted an application for funding to the War Memorials Trust, which is currently being considered.

Culmination of the project is set to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War in 1914.

Chair of Todmorden Civic Society, Paul Clarke, said, “Having a three year timescale for the project in order to commission some replicas of the statues in time for the anniversary makes it an achievable goal.”

Modern fixing methods make theft and vandalism more difficult and such techniques will be employed at the installation stage.

Whilst the society has a number of photographs, it is appealing to members of the public for personal photos they may have of the statues taken from different angles in order to assist with the facsimile stone carvings of the Bayes statues.

For more information, or to send photos, please email or telephone 01706 814314