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Funding scheme to be lanched for Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton monument
A FUNDING scheme is soon to be launched to prop up a new monument in Weymouth.
A group wants to erect a memorial to anti-slavery campaigner and one-time Weymouth resident Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, who they claim has largely been forgotten.
Plans have been on the table for a while but the vision is starting to edge closer to reality now planning permission has been gained and most of the 144 stones that will make up the monument have been carved.
A hitch with the site location is delaying the project, however.
The monument, earmarked for the Manor Roundabout on Dorchester Road, is being built by students at the Dorset Skills Centre in Poundbury based on a design by Weymouth College stonemasonry student Peter Loizou, who won a competition to find the best design. The final stones will be ready by June.
Sir Thomas was a nineteenth century social reformer and former Weymouth MP. He lived at Bellfield House and Buxton Road is named after him.
Secretary of the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society Joyce Fannon said the group will meet on Wednesday for its AGM.
Apart from usual AGM business, the society will roll out its stone sponsoring scheme which will help pay for the erection of the monument. Each stone can be sponsored.
Mrs Fannon said an engineering design had been approved by Dorset Highways engineering department as robust and safe.
But she added: “A doubt has arisen over the siting of the monument.
“Weymouth parks department is planting shrubs and flowers on the roundabout. We had hoped at least to get the base of the monument laid before this happened but this has not been possible.
“We therefore may have to delay the project until the end of this year when the flowers and shrubs have died back to work on the roundabout.
“Alternatively, we have been offered different sites in Weymouth and we are considering them.”
Representatives of the society have met with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to discuss alternative sites in more detail and the results will be presented to the AGM which will be at St Augustine’s hall, Dorchester Road on Wednesday, at 2pm. Deputy Mayor Ray Banham has been invited to attend.
More details about the society and its plans for the monument can be found at thomasfowellbuxton.org.uk