Maquette unveiling marks launch of Henry VII statue campaign

Friday 22nd January 2016 11:20 am
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January 16 was an important occasion for all those interested in celebrating King Henry VII who was born in Pembroke Castle in 1457.

Progress is at last being made in the quest for a statue of Pembroke’s most famous son as Saturday’s event saw the unveiling of the Henry VII maquette (miniature of the statue).

The event was organised for Pembroke Town Council by the Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society and the large numbers attending gave evidence of the great public interest in this project.

Proceedings were opened by the Mayor of Pembroke, Clr. Pauline Waters, who thanked all those present for attending and these included the deputy chair of Pembrokeshire County Council, Clr. Keith Lewis, County Clrs. Arwyn Williams and Daphne Bush, Pembroke Dock Mayor, Clr. Peter Kraus, Neyland Mayor, Clr. Margaret Brace and consort Terry, plus Pembroke town councillors.

The statue project is a partnership between Pembroke Town Council and Pembrokeshire County Council who have undertaken to match-fund the £20,000 that has to be raised through its Town Centre Support Programme.

She then introduced sculptor Harriet Addyman, of Autodromo Narberth, who had been commissioned by Pembroke Town Council to produce the maquette.

Harriet told the audience she had been delighted to receive the commission as it was high time that Henry was celebrated in the place of his birth. She added that the research phase of developing the maquette had been an amazing journey, and she had been fascinated to learn so much more about the life of Henry VII.

Linda Asman, project leader and chair of the history society, then gave an illustrated talk on the early life of Henry and traced his march to Bosworth which began at Mill Bay, near Dale, on August 7, 1485.

She and her husband Stuart had followed the route last year (albeit in a vehicle) and photographed the towns and villages where Henry’s army had camped during the progress to Bosworth.

That journey ended with the defeat of Richard III and the birth of a new Royal dynasty - a dynasty born in Pembroke. That surely is something to celebrate!

A statue of Henry is long overdue, but Linda stressed that they should be campaigning for a national visitor centre dedicated to Henry VII here in Pembroke to equal that of Richard III in Leicester: the Ricardians have had much publicity and the other side of the story needs to be told.

A home video followed which was taken in 1985 of the celebrations in Pembroke Castle to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Henry’s accession to the throne - many local people could be recognised participating.

The event officially marked the launch of the fundraising campaign to raise the money for the statue.

The history society has made a good start by raising £314 on the day with a coffee morning, raffle and book stall. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so to The Henry VII Statue Fund, c/o Pembroke Town Clerk, Pembroke Town Hall, Main Street, Pembroke, SA71 4JS, tel. 01646 683092, email: [email protected]

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