Tragedy overshadows horse statue plan

Tragedy overshadows horse statue plan

Francis Batt

Tragedy overshadows horse statue plan

A tragic accident in which a married couple died has cast a shadow over plans to create a bronze statue of the Windsor grey horses that transport the Queen on state occasions.

A group of Windsor residents hope to have the statue in place on the Kings Road, Albert Road roundabout by June, 2013 in time for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

One of the residents behind the plan Rosemary Ussher had asked an old school friend, sculptor Althea Wynne to undertake the job. Ms Wynne had sketched a plan and made a model. Tragically she and her husband died on January 24 in a car accident near their home in Wiltshire  - on their way home from a visit to the foundry where the model would have been cast.

But Rosemary said: "It has made us determined to carry on with the statue in Althea's memory. We hope to find another sculptor who can make the statue using Althea's plan.

"We have her sketch as a blueprint although unfortunately we don't know what happened to the model. But we hope to fulfil her intentions."

Supporters of the plan for the sculpture of two Windsor Grey horses - the kind that take the Queen to Ascot as well as drawing her coach at state occasions - emphasise it will not compete with plans for a Jubilee memorial at King Edward Court this summer.

It is meant to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation, which happened almost 18 months after her accession to the throne. So it is not intended to be in place before June 2013.

But whether it happens at all will depend on the generosity of Windsorians, who have already contributed £37,000 towards the £50,000 needed to finance this year's King Edward Court memorial.

So far only £80,000 has been contributed towards the grey horses which will cost £200,000. But supporters hope the trickle will become a flood once this summer's jubilee celebrations are over.

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