Giles Circus opens again after a �650k revamp

IPSWICH: The town’s newest landmark was being formally re-opened today after work was completed at Giles Circus.

The junction between Queen Street, Princes Street and the Buttermarket has been trans-formed with paving and a new site for the Grandma statue, which has stood in the town for 17 years.

Giles Circus has been created at a cost of �650,000 – with 80 per cent provided by the Haven Gateway Partnership.

The statue has moved from its former position beside the parking area for motorcycles to a new plinth on the opposite side of the road.

The statue was created by local sculptor Miles Robinson and unveiled in 1993 by actor Warren Mitchell – a friend of Carl Giles, who worked in a studio overlooking the junction.

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The statue was funded by Express Newspapers – who employed Giles for more than half a century – after three prominent Ipswich figures persuaded the modest cartoonist to agree to it.

Former borough leisure chief Randall Bevan said: “I was working with the Ipswich Tourism Group and I was with Ken Bean who ran a couple of nightclubs and Philip Houseley from the football supporters’ club.

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“Giles spent a lot of time in the Chev Club that Ken ran, and one evening Ken worked on him and persuaded him that a statue could be tasteful. Then Philip and I went down to Express newspapers in London to try to get some money. They came up with all we needed and there was �10,000 left over.

“I gave that to the then mayor who put it in a kitty at the borough for other public art. I don’t know if it is still there – it could be used to help the proposed Thomas Wolsey statue fundraising.”

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