A regional daily editor’s proposed 80-foot statue of an Anglo-Saxon warrior could become reality after a city council gave the idea its backing.
The idea for the statue in Stoke-on-Trent was first touted six years ago by Martin Tideswell, who is now editor-in-chief of the city’s daily newspaper The Sentinel.
Martin, who was then The Sentinel’s assistant editor, suggested the idea in an article after the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, was bought by the local Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
However, the £3.5m project to build the statue in a bid to boost tourist numbers visiting the city and the historic collection never got off the ground.
But now Stoke-on-Trent City Council are resurrecting the plans, with comparisons being drawn with the Angel of the North and Blackpool Tower.
If the statue is built, council chiefs have suggested it could overlook the M6 to the west of the city, though a more central location has not been ruled out.
Said Martin: “It’s terrific to see our idea of a giant Staffordshire Saxon back on the agenda.
“Not only would such a symbol help to promote the priceless Staffordshire Hoard at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, it would also be a powerful, unmissable ambassador for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.”
A nine-foot high version of the proposed statue currently stands in the museum itself, having been created by locally-born artist Andy Edwards.
Martin added: “In Andy Edwards, Stoke-on-Trent boasts a sculptor of rare talent and vision who is deeply proud of his roots. If anyone can make this happen, Andy can.
“The Sentinel remains a proud supporter of Andy and the Staffordshire Saxon project – just as it backed the campaign to bring the Staffordshire Hoard to our city.”