Centenary in the public realm

Celebrating a hundred years of successful garden city living

Welwyn Garden City has a rich variety of beautiful statues and monuments which mark events, buildings or significant people in the town’s history.

To mark the centenary we plan to have a lasting feature in the town centre. The suggestion, backed by comments from the public is that a statue of Sir Ebenezer Howard, the man who had the vision and who devoted his life to making that vision become a reality. There is, to our knowledge, no full size bronze statue of Howard displayed anywhere in the world at the present time.

The Foundation has worked with the Digswell Arts Trust for over 3 years to seek to identify a sculptor specializing in figurative work who would be available to fulfil the commission at a reasonable price. Part of the commission is to develop the piece through a community participation process including residents in the town and particularly school children. Schools are very excited about the concept of a professional sculptor coming into their art classes to show how such a work is developed.

Howard, for all his talents and achievements, was a fairly quiet and unassuming chap. So, the sculpture will to show someone modest and reflective. We want a figure that residents will take to their hearts, polishing his boot as they pass for good luck!

A young, local sculptor, Ben Twiston-Davies who lives near Stevenage has been chosen to create the statue. He is responsible for the sculpture of Agatha Christie in Cambridge Circus, outside the theatre showing the Mousetrap. Due diligence is still being undertaken but it is hoped to commission the work in the coming months.

A panel will make the final selection and we are working with the Council on potential sites that would be a welcome and popular attraction bringing people into the town centre.

This will engage the interest of the international garden city movement and encourage their wider involvement in our celebratory year.

One of the beautiful Ebenezer Howard Sculpture Sketch Maquette by Ben Twiston-Davies

One of the beautiful Ebenezer Howard Sculpture Sketch Maquettes by Ben Twiston-Davies.