Official moves to reel in huge statue

Maureen Robinson and husband Michael with the Filey statue
Maureen Robinson and husband Michael with the Filey statue

FILEY is set to officially adopt an iconic £50,000 statue.

Scarborough Council bosses are thrashing out a deal to permanently bring the huge sculpture to the town.

The giant 12 foot statue, called High Tide In Short Wellies, depicts an angler surveying the raging North Sea waters.

The steel sculpture, which currently stands in Coble Landing, was bought for Filey last month by philanthropic pensioner Maureen Robinson who previously lavished a similar £50,000 gift to Scarborough.

Council chiefs will meet next week to officially sanction the adoption of the statue, which has been a revelation with residents and visitors.

The sculpture was only brought to Filey in the first instance - ahead of Scarborough - after the tireless campaigning of Cllr Mike Cockerill and Rowena Marsden from Scarborough Council.

A fund was immediately set up by locals to retain the statue before Mrs Robinson’s benevolent intervention, with the monies raised set to fund a plaque to add further kudos to the fisherman’s tale.

Brian Bennett, Scarborough Council’s head of tourism and culture, said: “The art work was well received by residents and visitors and locals began offering donations towards a fund to purchase the sculpture so it could be retained in the town.”

Mr Bennett added fears over the longevity of the steel in the harsh sea water environment had been quelled, with artist Ray Lonsdale offering to carry out free annual inspections.

He also said the council had received advice to coat the sculpture with a sealant to add further protection against the elements.

After buying the sculpture for Filey, Mrs Robinson told the Mercury it was a “wonderful” attribute for the town.

She added: “It seemed fitting to have the ‘fisherman’ for the fishing resort of Filey.

“I have a life-long passion for natural history, and especially marine biology.

“I have spent countless hours at Filey Brigg at low tide, so what finer sculpture for Filey than High Tide in Short Wellies?”

The Scarborough statue, titled, Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers, was subject to a heartless vandal attack last month when yellow paint was daubed on the sculpture.

However, Mr Bennett said safeguards were in place to ensure there would be no repeat in Filey.

He said: “There is a risk that the sculpture could be vandalised or stolen, however, the material is extremely robust and the sculpture is very large and will be permanently fixed to the ground.”

He added if the application to adopt the statue was successful, it could be moved further along the seafront.