New statue for Hartlepool park by renowned North-East artist Ray Lonsdale is finished

A new statue of a Boer War soldier made by a renowned North East artist is finished.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:25 am

Ray Lonsdale, who has made a series of sculptures and statues, was commissioned to make the figure of a soldier by Hartlepool fundraiser and history enthusiast Stephen Close.

It followed a successful campaign to raise £25,000 over several years to secure a new statue for the Boer War memorial in Ward Jackson Park which honours 23 Hartlepool soldiers who died in the conflict in South Africa between 1899 and 1902.

Stephen shared a photo of the finished work he dubbed “the people’s statue” on Facebook.

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The statue will go in Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool. Photo by Paul Levitt.

He said in the post: “I have made arrangements with the artist/fabricator Ray Lonsdale to deliver the said ‘work of art’ to Hartlepool very soon so you can all meet him face to face and enjoy the beauty of the finished product.”

Stephen plans to host the statue at a venue in the town, on a day and venue to be arranged, where people can admire the statue, get selfies with it and it is hoped Ray Lonsdale will also be able to attend.

Stephen added: “Many thanks to the good people from all corners of the world that made this happen.”

He recently got to spend half a day under Lonsdale’s supervision at his factory unit helping to make a small part of the statue.

The finished statue. Photo by Paul Levitt.

The original statue in Ward Jackson, also of a Boer War soldier, was stolen in 1968 after first being installed in 1906.

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