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Your chance to choose famous names for city sculpture - ballot
• This ballot is now closed.
VISITORS to Worcester’s riverside may soon be sharing the view with notable people from the city’s past and present.
Sustainable transport charity Sustrans wants to commemorate the cycling and walking project that has centred on the new Diglis Bridge through a specially-commissioned portrait bench.
A shortlist has been drawn up with the goal of choosing figures from Worcester’s history who have not yet already been commemorated with a statue in Worcester and who have contributed to the life, culture or history of the city.
It is now up to our readers to decide which three characters should appear on the portrait bench.
They will be life-sized two-dimensional steel figures standing alongside a simple wooden bench overlooking Diglis Bridge.
Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcester City Council and deputy leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “Worcester’s new-look riverside has been a hit with people young and old, and it’s already boosting our reputation as a great place for all the family to visit.
“This portrait bench is a great way of recognising the success of the project and promoting our city’s heritage. Enjoy voting.”
Peter John, edtior of the Worcester News, said: “We’re very excited to be able to offer our readers the chance to take part in this vote.
"Opportunities like this do not come along very often.
“The statue will form an exciting new part of our city landscape and will be enjoyed by future generations to come.
"I’m looking forward to seeing the finished statue, as voted for by our readers.”
Sustrans’ West Midlands area manager Henry Harbord said: “The cycling and walking scheme is hugely popular and I think statues of any three from the shortlist will be a great way to commemorate it.”
The Diglis Bridge and the network of paths that link to it have been delivered by Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council in partnership with Sustrans.
The scheme is part of a national project from the charity creating new everyday walking and cycling routes in communities across the UK.
This national project received £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund.
Part of the money has made its way to Worcester, alongside funding from Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, as well as the Department for Transport and contributions from local developers.
• We plan to run a total of three ballots. The one here is the first. The second will be featured next week on this site.
The shortlisted candidates
Worcester-born Olympic gold medal winning cyclist hailed the Worcester Wonder. He won gold in the team pursuit at the 1908 summer Olympics in London. He was a member of St John’s Cycling Club and also played amateur football for Manchester United.
An antique ceramics expert specialising in Royal Worcester. A former lay clerk of Worcester Cathedral Choir and teacher at the Royal Grammar School. Past curator of Dyson Perrins Museum of Porcelain and TV personality on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.
Dr John Wall
Born in Powick in 1708. He was founder of Worcester Royal Infirmary, Royal Worcester porcelain factory and treasurer of the Three Choirs Festival. He also established a village spa at Malvern Wells and was the first to bottle Malvern water.
Sir Edward Leader Williams
He was born and raised in Worcester, living at Diglis House. A designer of the Manchester Ship Canal and knighted for his work. Son to a civil engineer also named Edward who was responsible for works to make the river Severn navigable. Brother Benjamin was a famous landscape artist.
Sir Charles Hastings
Founder of the British Medical Association and instrumental in the development of public health. He lived much of his life in Foregate Street and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1850 for his outstanding services to the medical profession.
A former downhill mountain bike world champion who was born in Worcester and lives in Storridge. She is one of 27 trained Bikeability instructors working with Worcester-shire County Council to improve the proficiency of cyclists in the county.
A music hall star born in a Worcester back street in 1864. Once one of the best paid women entertainers in the world and better known than Sir Edward Elgar at the peak of her success.
Established the Worcester Group, which was valued at £72 million when taken over by Bosch in 1992. Backer and chairman of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2004 and founder of the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust charity.
King Charles II and Oliver Cromwell or a Parliamentarian and a Royalist soldier
Worcester was the setting for the first and last conflicts of the English Civil War between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. Cromwell defeated Charles at the Battle of Worcester on September 3, 1651, ending divine rule.