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Dudley's Duncan Edwards statue named in new heritage memorials project

By Tom Oakley | Dudley | News | Published:

Dudley's statue of footballing hero Duncan Edwards is among sites nominated by the public in a search for England’s little-known memorials.

Historic England asked people to share knowledge of England’s forgotten or secret memorials – from murals and shrines to statues and inscriptions on benches and trees.

The hunt for information about local monuments, street shrines and community tributes is part of a project, called Immortalised, looking at who is remembered and how – and who is missing and why.

Among the nominations the body has received from the public include one for England and Manchester United legend Edwards, whose statue resides in the town centre of his hometown.

Some of those nominated by the public have been given listed protection, including the gravestone of a woman who founded a school for the poor in Bristol and a peace memorial commissioned by a woman to mark the end of the First World War and the safe return of those who survived.

Overall, hundreds of locally well-loved statues and other memorials were nominated across England, charting local histories and showing the diversity of the way people and events are commemorated.

Other nominations include statues of Dolly Peel in South Shields, a fishwife, smuggler and protector of local sailors; the Jarrow crusaders in County Durham; and two women ‘cracker packers’ on a bronze Carr’s Table Water Biscuit to commemorate the female workforce at the Carlisle factory.

People also put forward etched bricks on the walls of the former male courtyard at the Watford Workhouse marking some of the inmates who died there and a plaque commemorating the ‘Xylophone Man’, Frank Robinson, who for years played the xylophone in Nottingham city centre.

In Parkend, Gloucestershire, a pub mural remembers Warren James who led a rebellion against the Crown after large areas of the Forest of Dean were enclosed.

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And in Southwark, Crossbones Graveyard is a wild garden shrine to the ‘outcast dead’ such as paupers and prostitutes thought to be buried there.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “We are very grateful that so many people took the time to tell us about memorials in their communities and the stories behind them.

“At a time when our national statues and memorials are under increasing scrutiny, we’re delighted to shine a light on these often undiscovered and under-appreciated markers of our past.

“Every one of those that’s been nominated has a local champion and someone who cares about it and about the story it tells.”

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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