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First Sculptures celebrating Bideford's history unveiled in Cooper Street

Cooper Street Sept 2019

Two striking and unique sculptures have been unveiled in Cooper Street, Bideford, celebrating various aspects of the town's past history. The eye- catching designs have been created by local Northam artists Bill and Peach Shaw and were commissioned by Town and District Councillors and recent Mayors, Doug Bushby, Dermot McGeough, Peter Christie and local entrepreneurs Rob and Graham Braddick. While Rob and Graham put some of their own money into the project £10,000 was also provided by Torridge District Council through the Community Grant funding scheme.

The first sculptures incorporating steel, copper and brass elements depict a cooper making barrels and a merchant. Both trades have historic connections to the immediate area giving rise to the name "Cooper Street" where they are located. Two further installations are planned that will continue this heritage theme by depicting a fisherman and Sir Richard Grenville. This is just one of the many projects being designed to rejuvenate town centres across Torridge and builds on the recent redesign and renovation of nearby Jubilee Square.

Torridge District and Town Councillor Dermot McGeough said:

"This is an ongoing project that will brighten up Cooper Street and shows the important heritage links that we should celebrate and promote to encourage visitors to our town. I would also like to thank the former Leader of the Council, Jane Whittaker, for supporting Bideford with some of the funding, she was a great advocate for the town during her time as Leader of the Council."

Rob Braddick highlighted his family's connection to the street dating back to 1885 when his great grandfather lived and had a slaughterhouse and butchers on the site where Crabby Dicks is now located. He went on to say that he was proud to be involved in a project for a street and town that he loved.

26 Sept 2019