Safety plea over Dunchurch's famous statue

A warning has been issued by Dunchurch Parish Council about the statue at the heart of the village – and many of its celebrations.

Dunchurch's famous statue pictured on Tuesday, October 11, after the news was shared about new cracks being found in the stonework.
Dunchurch's famous statue pictured on Tuesday, October 11, after the news was shared about new cracks being found in the stonework.

Famous for the Christmas tradition where a mysterious group of people dress it up, it has also sported a black armband after the death of the Queen – and a host of gold medals in honour of Friends of Dunchurch’s success in bloom contests.

But in a statement released on Monday, the council urged people to be gentle with the much-loved attraction.

It said: “Following the recent cleaning of the Lord John Montagu statue the council have been advised of some new cracks that are appearing in the stone work.

"Whilst we look into this further and await a full conservator report can we please ask all residents/community groups to bear this potential health and safety issue in mind before climbing onto/hanging things on him.”

The road junction was recently widened as part of the planning permission given for new homes in Ashlawn Road, putting traffic much closer to his lordship and no doubt the possible impact of that change will be part of the debate about what has happened – and what happens next.

In response to concern about the situation, the council responded to a comment on its Facebook page with an extra plea to those who may be involved with the festive frolics: “Hopefully the Christmas fairies will be extra careful this year if they decorate him and won't put any unnecessary pressure on him.”