Britannia rules Fenland again: Restoration begins on 110-year-old statue

PUBLISHED: 13:09 27 June 2011 | UPDATED: 09:12 30 June 2011

Repairs to the arm and shield of the Britannia statue on top of March Town Hall. Sculptor Adrian Veater works on fitting the new arm.

Repairs to the arm and shield of the Britannia statue on top of March Town Hall. Sculptor Adrian Veater works on fitting the new arm.

Archant

BRITANNIA will soon return to her former glory as work to repair the 110-year-old statue started on top of March Town Hall today.

In November, a gust of wind sent Britannia’s shield and arm crashing to the ground but workers have this morning braved heights of around 110ft to begin the restoration.

Ironmaster Chris Howes and artist Adrian Veater have already put the shield back in place, with work on repairing the arm and shoulder to continue today and tomorrow.

Mr Howes, who has worked on projects at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, said: “The shield caught the wind and got blown down taking the arm with it. Although the shield survived fairly well, the arm was comprehensibly run over - it was flat as a pancake.

“Now, with the shoulder and the arm, it’s like we are creating our own Frankenstein’s monster really.

“It’s quite exciting up there when the crane’s blowing in the wind and then the bell strikes.

“We are quite happy when someone comes into the workshop, puts something on the counter and says fix that. Nobody has ever said, fix that but fix it 100ft up in the air.

“What’s unbelievable is the quality of the work. You can see the individual toes and the strap of her sandal. We are only aware of two other copper Britannias anywhere.

“It’s such a shame that it’s almost too far in the air for the people of March to fully enjoy.”

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