Ipswich: Funding for Wolsey statue secured and work to begin

IPSWICH: After months of hard work and thousands of pounds worth of donations, a lasting tribute to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is just four months away from completion.

The �80,000 needed to create the artwork tribute to Wolsey has been secured and the statue is now set to be cast at Powderhall Bronze in Edinburgh.

The Cardinal Thomas Wolsey appeal was launched in October 2009, spearheaded by Dr John Blatchly, chairman of patrons for the Wolsey artwork project, and supported by Ipswich Borough Council.

The tribute to Ipswich’s greatest son will be built outside Curson House, opposite Curson Lodge, on the corner of St Nicholas Street and Silent Street. The location marks the spot where the famous cardinal proposed to retire.

The fundraising appeal was given one last boost when Tesco stepped in and donated a grant worth thousands of pounds.

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The amount raised for the Wolsey appeal, including the substantial grant from Tesco – who will begin work on their new Grafton Road site – now stands at more than �83,000.

Dr Blatchly said: “It is absolutely fantastic news that we have reached our fundraising target. It is something that the town should be very proud of. This tribute to Wolsey is long overdue – in fact it is more than 500 years overdue.

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“It should be something that people enjoy. We hope to have a seating area nearby so that people can sit and enjoy Wolsey’s memory.”

The cost of the sculptor and foundry, delivery and installation is set to total �68,500, with site works and a low stone plinth still to pay for.

Dr Blatchly told the Evening Star that sculptor David Annand would continue working on the figure until the end of April, leaving May and June for the casting.

There is a plaque on a building in St Nicholas’ Street near Wolsey’s childhood home, but Dr Blatchly said that a lasting tribute such as this was “well overdue”.

The bronze statue is set to display Wolsey as an enlightened teacher, who was schooled in his birthplace and wished to develop a great school in Ipswich to rival the likes of Eton.

The statue will reflect a seated figure of Wolsey, with a book in one hand and the other hand raised as if he were teaching.

The statue will be unveiled on June 29.

n Are you glad to see Thomas Wolsey honoured in the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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