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Historic statue saved after weekly campaign raises five figure sum

An historic statue has been restored after a weekly newspaper’s campaign raised more than £10,000.

The red lion statue has stood in High Wycombe’s High street for more than two centuries, but was under threat after years of neglect.

But the Bucks Free Press teamed up with the High Wycombe Society to revive the landmark, setting a goal of raising £11,000 for work on the statue in August last year.

The necessary work has now been carried out, and the Free Press has run a souvenir edition on the campaign’s success.

Red Lion

A total of £10,116 was raised, of which £7,000 paid the cost of the restoration work and the rest put towards a long-term maintenance programme.

The paper said in a message to readers: “Past and present residents of the town with fond memories of the statue and businesses and dignitaries who recognised its importance dug deep and donated what they could to help us preserve this icon of the town.

“Now, months later, we have achieved what we set out to do. After extensive renovations, grandson of Frank Hudson, Colin Mantripp and his team have given the lion its roar back. With a clean bill of health, the lion is standing proud once more on its portico.

“To our generous readers, we want to say a wholehearted thank you for helping us to ensure this historic landmark is preserved for generations to come.

“It is a fantastic result that everyone who donated should be incredibly proud of. As our nostalgia expert, Mike Dewey, said – the lion is the ‘people’s icon of Wycombe.'”

Readers can still donate to the statue’s upkeep here.