Ceremony to honour key figure in Blyth's past

A ceremony will be held to honour a key figure in Blyth’s past from more than 100 years ago.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 20th June 2019, 11:00 am

The Friends of Ridley Park will be unveiling a new bust of the first Viscount Ridley, who gave the land for the amenity to be created in Blyth back in 1901.

The original bust, which was created by local sculptor George Skee, was unveiled in the park in 1909. However, it was stolen just short of its 100th anniversary in 2008.

And since the Friends group formed in 2012, members have wanted to replace it.

Matthew White Ridley, the 5th Viscount Ridley, will unveil the new bust at a ceremony (tomorrow) Friday, at 10.30am.

The Friends of Ridley Park have received a grant from the Ridley Family Charity for the replacement bust, as well as a grant from Blyth town councillor Adrian Cartie to cover the cost of its installation.

The Friends group itself has paid for the plaque to be added.

The new bust has been created by local sculptor Edward Taylor.

It has been created from resin and installed onto a plinth with the help of local stonemasonry business Art of Stone.

Fiona Gibson, who chairs the Friends of Ridley Park group, said: “We’re delighted with the new sculpture, and even more delighted that one of our aims as a Friends’ group – to return Lord Ridley to his rightful place at the entrance to the park – has been achieved.

“We will be pleased to welcome Lord Ridley to unveil the bust and we hope he agrees with us that it is a fitting tribute to the first Lord Ridley.”