Honouring key figure in Blyth's past

A lasting memory to one of the key figures in Blyth’s history has returned.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 3:05 pm
Updated Friday, 12th July 2019, 9:13 pm
Lord Ridley with the Friends of Ridley Park, members of the public, Coun Warren Taylor and artist Ted Taylor with the new bust.

A bust of the first Viscount Ridley, who handed over land to the town for the Ridley Park to be created in 1901, has been unveiled.

The original bust, created by local sculptor George Skee, was unveiled in the park in 1909 but unfortunately it was stolen in 2008.

Now, a new one has gone on display in the park thanks to the Friends of Ridley Park who, after forming in 2012, said replacing it was one of their key priorities.

Friends of Ridley Park received a grant from the Ridley Family Charity for the replacement bust, a grant from Blyth Town Councillor Adrian Cartie to cover the cost of its installation and the Friends have paid for the plaque.

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

It has been lovingly created from resin and has been installed onto the plinth with the help of local stonemasons Art of Stone.

The Friends of Ridley Park were joined by Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, at a special event to unveil the new bust.

Fiona Gibson, who chairs the Friends of Ridley Park, 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 were 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.”