Stolen memorial will be replaced
A POPULAR town landmark that was stolen by thieves will be replaced, councillors have agreed.Residents of Aldeburgh expressed outrage last week when thieves took a bronze memorial statue of Snooks, the town doctor's dog, from near the seafront and the model yacht pond.
By Jonathan Barnes
A POPULAR town landmark that was stolen by thieves will be replaced, councillors have agreed.
Residents of Aldeburgh expressed outrage last week when thieves took a bronze memorial statue of Snooks, the town doctor's dog, from near the seafront and the model yacht pond.
But, at a meeting of Aldeburgh Town Council last night, it was agreed that if the statue was not recovered, it should be replaced.
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Town clerk Andrew Harris said: "We are going to allow the police a little time to recover the original and complete their enquiries, but we hope to have a fund for public donations to replace it within a week or two.
"We have made some enquiries investigating the cost of putting a replacement there and how it can be done. It will definitely be replaced."
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Mr Harris said advertisements could also be put in antiques magazines to check if anybody had seen the dog – or knew if it had been offered for sale.
Snooks was a well-loved pet had a tendency to eat pebbles and found himself under the surgeon's knife for his unusual habit.
He would follow his master, Dr Robin Acheson, as he made his calls on various patients throughout the area. Often he would wander off alone and could be seen at various parts of Aldeburgh.
But thieves stole the famous 2ft statue of Snooks between 5pm last Wednesday and 10.45am on Thursday, leaving an empty plinth.
Dr Robin Acheson cared for the community from 1931 to 1959, while his wife Nora, also a doctor, carried on as GP after his death until she died in 1981.
The statue of Snooks was originally installed in Dr Acheson's honour, with his wife's name added later, and was unveiled in 1961 by their grandchildren.
It has featured in postcards, as well as articles on the town, and generations of children have been held up by their parents so they could pat his nose, to the point where it was said to be wearing away.
The doctors' only daughter, Patricia Thornton, who now lives on the Isle of Man, said: "I think it's rather sad that people waste their time on such vandalism and I hope it will be returned safely soon. We are all very sorry that this has happened."
n Councillors will be asked to support plans for a proposed sculpture in honour of composer Benjamin Britten when they meet next Tuesday
Suffolk Coastal District Council's cabinet will discuss plans for a sculpture based on the shape of broken scallop shells proposed for Aldeburgh's shingle beach.
Jeremy Schofield, the council's director of planning and leisure, is recommending they support the proposed project, put forward by Rendham-based sculptor and artist Maggi Hambling, and agree to take ownership of the sculpture on terms which protect the council's interests.
Mr Schofield's report to councillors states: "The purpose of the sculpture is to celebrate the works of Benjamin Britten and his influence on British music. The sculpture would have a maritime theme, being based upon the shapes of scallop shells and incorporating the quote from Peter Grimes 'I hear those voices that will not be drowned'."
It is estimated the project will cost £70,000, and a steering group is aiming to raise the necessary funds mainly through individual donations. The council's arts officers is also currently exploring with East England Arts the possibility of a bid to the Regional Arts Lottery Programme.