A CAMPAIGN to build a monument to a forgotten citizen of Weymouth has moved a step forward after a planning application was lodged.

It is proposed to site a stone monument in the middle of the Manor Roundabout in Dorchester Road to honour anti-slavery campaigner and Weymouth MP Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton.

A group of people in the town believe it is important Sir Thomas, a great social reformer of the nineteenth century, is remembered in the modern age with a permanent memorial.

Manor Roundabout is seen as an appropriate place as it is a gateway to the town and at the beginning of the new relief road.

Weymouth College stonemasonry students were challenged to come up with a design for the monument and a proposal of a stone obelisk with a ball on top by Peter Loizou of Bridport was selected. It is now being built by Weymouth College students and it is hoped the monument will be up in time for the 2012 Olympics. The structure will be built of Portland stone thanks to materials donated by Albion Stone.

It will stand at just under four metres (13.12ft) tall and will have Sir Thomas’s name and coat of arms on the base.

A planning application has been submitted to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and it is expected the plan will be considered by councillors towards the end of the year.

The campaign to honour Sir Thomas has been led by Joyce Fannon of Buckland Ripers who took an interest in his life and has given talks to raise awareness.

Together with her husband Dr John Fannon she set up the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society last year which has the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland as its honorary president and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott as its patron.

Mrs Fannon said she feels Weymouth has ‘forgotten’ Sir Thomas’s work. In his submission to the council Dr Fannon said: “The monument will commemorate the life’s work of a man whose actions brought about the end of the institution of slavery in the British Empire and will make a positive statement of the value of human freedom, opportunities and fundamental rights.”

Life of social reform leader

SIR Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786-1845) was a leading campaigner for the abolition of slavery, as well as an MP for Weymouth, a brewer and a Christian social reformer.

He was born in Essex and later inherited Belfield House in Weymouth through his family.

Some of his relatives are buried at All Saints Church, Wyke Regis. Sir Thomas, pictured, represented Weymouth as an MP between 1818 and 1837. The trade in slaves was abolished in 1807, however Sir Thomas continued the work when he entered Parliament and took over the movement’s leadership.

For more information, visit thomasfowellbuxton.org.uk