31/8/2015 Scarborough and Filey Statues
Filey and Scarborough are home to four eye catching sculptures gifted by philanthropist Maureen Robinson. The first sculpture was gifted to Scarborough in 2011. It was originally a temporary piece loaned to Scarborough for a month by artist Ray Lonsdale.
The Scarborough landmark is of Freddie Gilroy, a retired mining friend of Mr Lonsdale. Freddie Gilroy was one of the first people to relieve the Bergen-Belson concentration camp. A campaign was started by local Scarborough resident Jakki Wilby to make the Scarborough the statues permanent home. Mrs Robinson had always intended on giving a gift to the seaside town and on seeing the opportunity arise she donated £50,000 to the campaign resulting in the Freddie Gilroy statue now being permanently situated at Scarborough’s North Bay.
In 2012 Maureen Robinson purchased a second sculpture named ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’ also by Ray Lonsdale to be situated in Filey. Filey has always been a large part of Mrs Robinson’s life as she stated it has ‘featured in many of our pursuits’. The statue is a 12ft fisherman representing the declining fishing industry and is suitably situated as Filey is a fishing town. The steel sculpture can be seen standing watch on Filey’s Cobble landing.
Later on in the year of 2012, Maureen Robinson purchased a third sculpture again by Ray Lonsdale to be the second situated in Scarborough. The steel structure is of a life-size smuggler and his apprentice in appreciation of Mrs Robinsons’ childhood trips to the Smuggler’s Cove in Flamborough. The third piece is situated on Merchant’s Row at South bay overlooking the beautiful Scarborough harbour.
In the summer of 2013 the fourth piece purchased by Maureen Robinson and created by Ray Lonsdale was placed at Scarborough’s East Pier. The piece is a life size replica of the Blue Thin Tunny- it is a seven foot fish resting on a twelve foot tall stand. The sculpture represents Scarborough during the 1920’s and 1930’s when the Blue Thin Tunny was a known sporting fish and were abundant of the Yorkshire Coast.
Mrs Robinson aims to commission artist Ray Lonsdale to create further statues in the Scarborough and Filey area with the intention to produce a heritage trail joining all landmarks.
by Leanne Deighton