National Recording Project


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

A Celebration of Chester


     An abstract, figurative, free-standing sculpture. Three symbolic figures face outwards in different directions. The figure in the group - Thanksgiving, Industry and Protection - face the Cathedral, the commercial shopping streets and the Town Hall. One of the figures bends down towards the ground. The anatomical structure of each figure has been suggested by fluid abstract shapes rather than by accurate representation. A Celebration of Chester is designed to reflect the life of both the city and the individual citizen. The artist had held consulted the general public during the sculptures planning stages. The casting of the bronze sculpture was handled by a specialist firm from Gloucester. The Bronze surface was gone over with fine chiselwork to reproduce all the characteristics of the original model's plastering. A delicate patina was added to the completed piece.
     A Celebration of Chester was a civic enterprise and represents Chester's first civic sculpture. It was commissioned as part of Chester Cathedral's nine hundredth birthday celebrations. The work was funded by a £250,000 donation from the Chester based NWS Bank. The sculpture was unveiled in a cloud of two thousand helium balloons each bearing the name of a child participating in the ceremony.
     The first figure is called Protection and symbolises the strength and security provided by the city walls. This figure faces the Town hall, "(the) modern provider of protection and reassurance to the city's inhabitants". The second figure, Industry, faces the shops and spirals to the ground suggesting industry and effort, especially that needed for the prosperity of the city. The third figure, Thanks Giving is placed centrally in the group, so that it is protected by the other two. It looks upwards towards the cathedral, representing as it does the spiritual life of the individual and of the group.

Related works : Reconciliation Series

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Broadbent, Stephen Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Monument Bronze Height of 15ft
Base None Height of 5ft

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
Structural condition
Road Market Square
Precise location Outside the Town Hall
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design 1990-92
Year of unveiling 1992
Unveiling details 21st September 1992
Commissioned by Civic enterprise
Duty of care None
Listing status Don't know
At risk? Not at risk

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