National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Clement Attlee

Summary

Type Statue

     Full length statue of Attlee, bespectacled , holding a document in his right hand and holding onto the left lapel of his jacket with his left hand. Wearing a three piece suit, four buttons on cuffs of jacket.
     It was originally commissioned as the winning entry from a competition, to be erected in Mile End Park by the Greater London Council. Part of the £23,000 cost was still unpaid at the demise of the GLC in 1987, and the statue was offered to any of the newly formed local neighbourhoods willing to pay £3,000. It was finally erected outside Limehouse Public Library in 1988 and unveiled by Sir Harold Wilson then the last living member of Attlee's post-war cabinet of 1945-51. In his statue of Attlee, Forster aimed to show the leader in action, military and precise in bearing. The statue, larger than life-size, measures six feet eight inches; the plaster figure was 6 feet 10 inches but two inches were lost in casting. The total cost of the statue was £24,000. The pedestal on which it stands was also built by the sculptor, a modest, three feet six inches construction of brick and stone mouldings, in keeping with the nature of the site and with Atlee's character. 'Bronze inevitably discolours in the open air, due to a natural reaction with the gases of the atmosphere; whether the discolouration inclines to green or black depends on the air's chemical composition . . . Bronze statutes are therefore always given a unified, dark brown patina; this corresponds to the probable discolouration and can be renewed after erection. In this case, Forster used liver of sulphate'.(1)
     Clement Attlee

Inscriptions

On brick and stone base plaque in gold lettering, incised capitals: CLEMENT / ATTLEE At bottom of base, metal plaque with incised capitals: THE STATUE WAS SUPPORTED BY / PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION, G.L.C., L.B.T.H. / WAPPING NEIGHBOURHOOD, AND SPONSORED / BY AND ON BEHALF OF DAN FRANKEL / MAYOR OF STEPNEY 1928-29. / MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR MILE END / 1939-45 AND LILY FRANKEL MEMBER / STEPNEY BOROUGH COUNCIL 1934-45 / UNVEILED BY LORD WILSON OF RIEVAULX / 30th NOVEMBER 1988 / SCULPTOR FRANK FORSTER / FOUNDRY A & A SCULPTURE

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Forster, Frank Sculptor
A & A Bronze Company, None Foundry

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statue Bronze 200cm high approx
Base Brick and stone 155cm high x 80cm wide x 80cm deep

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
TH051 UEL
General condition Good
Surface condition
Structural condition
Vandalism
Road Commercial Road
Precise location Outside Limehouse District Public Library, behind railings
A-Z ref 84 Bc 44
OS ref TQ366811
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1988
Unveiling details 30 November 1988
Commissioned by Greater London Council
Duty of care London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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