Statue of garden city movement founder Ebenezer Howard set to proudly stand in Letchworth

Peter Colvin pictured with his sculpture of Ebenezer Howard.

Peter Colvin pictured with his sculpture of Ebenezer Howard. - Credit: Archant

A statue of the founder of the garden city movement is set to proudly stand in Letchworth.

Ebenezer Howard.

Ebenezer Howard. - Credit: Archant

Peter Colvin, who works as an osteopath by trade, is putting the finishing touches to his two and a half metre sculpture of Ebenezer Howard, before it is shipped off to Shanghai in China to be cast in bronze.

Howard’s name will be forever associated with Letchworth, with the world’s first garden city being based on the ideas of his earlier publication, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform.

The book set out the stenographer’s ideal town, surrounded by Green Belt and an antithesis of what he perceived to be the overcrowded and impoverished Victorian cities of his time.

What started as a hobby for Peter quickly turned into a project where a new studio was required, with the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation granting him use of a vacant building on Eastcheap – formerly the home of Love Letchworth – so that he could complete his masterpiece.

Once Ebenezer is looking spic-and-span on his return from Asia, Peter plans to donate the sculpture – which is raised on a plinth – to the Foundation, with the charitable organisation having the decision on where he will be placed outside in the town.

Peter, who owns La Concha tapas and wine bar in Letchworth, said: “I have made various torsos before, and about 18 months ago I made a two-foot high version of Ebenezer, but this statue has been two years in the making.

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“Because I am an osteopath, bodywork comes naturally to me, which made the process of creation easier.

“A lot of thanks must go to Di Adkins, who got in touch with the Foundation about letting me work in the building on Eastcheap which allowed me to complete the statue.

“It was lucky because I don’t think my flat has tall enough ceilings to house him.

“It’s going to Shanghai for the bronzing process because it is much cheaper than doing it over here.

“The Foundation will decide where they want to put him, but hopefully the people of Letchworth will enjoy his presence in the town.”

David Ames, who is the head of heritage for the Foundation, said: “I’m delighted we have this opportunity to add to our collection with this piece of art recognising Ebenezer Howard’s importance to the town.”