WAS the council’s decision to reject taking on the statue so bad? Here are the reasons why people say it was.
1 They already agreed to it. No, they agreed to put in a contribution when the thing was made. So did Sainsbury’s and the Duke, I understand. No one’s asking Sainsbury’s to cough up, so why the council? I don’t think making a grant once makes you responsible for something forever.
2 Everybody liked it in the consultation. Yes, most did. But people like free stuff, don’t they? When we find out we’re paying more, aren’t we right to give it a proper look and find out how much it costs?
3 It’s good for tourism. Tourism seems like the last defence people use round here when they want to win an argument, but I don’t buy it – I guess people take a look as they walk to the castle, but they’re going there anyway. The castle is obviously great for tourism, but I can’t imagine that anyone visits Alnwick to take a look at a giant bronze.
4 It’s a matter of town pride. Sure, it’s always nice to have some statues around, but does everything have to be Percy-related here? Doesn’t it set a tone when you’re always commemorating the middle ages? It’s great having attractions like Barter Books which bring Alnwick out from under the shadows of border warfare. I’d like a statue of someone else without noble connections once in a while. Maybe the Astronomer Royal who lived on Clayport Bank.
5 Now before you laugh and say no-one’s heard of him - well sorry, but nobody much has heard of Harry Hotspur either. I’ve lived in a few places and done my market research. To most people, it’s a weird name on the end of a football team. You might as well get the people of Argyll demanding statues of Tommy Tynan, top scorer for Plymouth Argyle, or Stanley in Co Durham demanding a reproduction of Accrington shopping centre.
Seriously, there are lots of formerly famous warrior knights who kids don’t learn about in school, so don’t get too upset about your guy being missed out.
6 I hear it doesn’t need insuring. Madness. Have you travelled by train lately and noticed all that copper going missing? Have you Googled ‘stolen bronze statue’? 117,000 results.
7 The statue looks all right to me, but I’m in favour of people checking how much it’s going to cost all of us before they make a decision.
Chapel Lands, Alnwick