The cricketer statue outside Priory Meadow Shopping Centre has today (Wednesday, November 25) been removed for repairs after it was knocked by the ice rink builders.
The Spirit of Cricket in Queens Square was accidentally hit by a fork-lift truck earlier this week and was deemed unsafe so it had to be ripped out and sent away to be repaired.
Its luck got no better as the bat had to be sawn off to fit it in the removal van.
Shopping centre manager John Hough said he will be back in due course as they have tracked down the original scultor Allan Sly to help fix the statue.
“He was bowled out by a five-ton fork lift truck,” he said.
“The people building the ice rink backed into it mistakenly which bent it off its foundations and it was not safe to leave it like that.”
The cricketer statue marks the former Central Cricket Ground which Priory Meadow is built on and was unveiled with the opening of the shopping centre in 1997.
The statue was excavated after a specialist foundary Mr Sly reccommended assessed it.
Bronze Age Foundary will now mend the statue but Mr Hough said it would be difficult as it was a one-of-a-kind.
“We had to cut him up to get him into the van as he was a couple of feet too long,” he said.
“We’re up against it as we have got Santa’s arrival and we had to take out his huge concrete foundations to make it flat and level for our main event tomorrow evening.
“We’re looking forward to his return.
“But with the ice rink and market going on, we’re planning on returning him to his normal position before the end of January.”
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