Coalville's Statues

The Mother and Child Statue.

When the new shopping precinct was being developed by Triland (Coalville) Ltd, a subsidiary of Costain Property Developers, they decided to commission a sculpture to represent the proud heritage of Coalville as a centrepiece of the Development.

From an initial 200 design entries and a shortlist of12 who provided models, the commission was given to Welsh sculptor John Roydon Thomas with a prize of £200 and a production fee of £2500. He was shown by the Coalville Times in August 1963 viewing the statue at a London Foundry.

The sculpture shows a mother proudly looking forward with her child looking behind her at a string shopping bag she holds, which contains lumps of coal, a bobbin, books, a baby doll and another item representing the commerce, mining, elastic web weaving and Pallitoy and other industries of the town.

It was unveiled on 11 October 1963 by Col. P. H. Lloyd, Chairman of Leicestershire County Council.

The statue stood as a centrepiece until removed in August 1986 by developers, who intended to throw it away as scrap, but thankfully it was saved by the District Council and later installed in 1988 by the County Council on its present site in front of the Library on High Street.

The excellence of the sculpture was recognised by the Royal Society of British Sculptors by its award the Sir Otto Beit Medal for best Sculpture of 1963.

Miner’s Statue.

In its edition of 8 March 1996, the Coalville Times put forward a proposal for a memorial to mark the 100th. anniversary of the Whitwick Pit disaster in 1998. As interest slowly developed local businessman Phil Holland gave the initial donation to start a fund for installation of a statue at Snibston Discovery Park.

However in July the Leicestershire NUM and NACODS expressed a wish that it should be a memorial for all Leicestershire Miners who lost their lives.

A Memorial committee was set up on the 2 August and it invited entries to a competition. This was won by Sculptor Judith Holmes Drewry of Le Blanc Fine Arts, Saxby who with her husband Lloyd Le Blanc were awarded the commission to spend £20,000 on its production from the total £24,000 raised by the appeal.

The statue was unveiled in High Street, on the site of the forecourt of the old Coalville Station, by David Taylor, MP and Rt. Rev. William Down, assistant Bishop of Leicester exactly 100 years to the day after the pit disaster.

It is inscribed “This memorial is dedicated to all miners of Leicestershire who gave their lives winning the coal.”

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