A statue celebrating Stoke-on-Trent's most famous literary son has been unveiled – on what would have been his 150th birthday. The two metre high bronze sculpture of novelist, playwright and essayist Arnold Bennett was revealed to the public on 27th May. A host of guests and civic dignitaries, including Bennett's grandson Denis Eldin, attended the unveiling outside the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley.
The statue was commissioned by the Arnold Bennett Society, funded by the Denise Coates Foundation and gifted to the city. Arnold Bennett Society vice-president Ray Johnson MBE said: “The statue is the culmination of very careful planning for a number of years, and we are thrilled that it is being unveiled on such an historic day."
The Arnold Bennett society worked with local sculptors Michael Talbot and Carl Payne to create the statue and Horticon Ltd were engaged by Stoke City Council to construct the accessible plinth for the statue. Our works were carefully programmed with the artist to ensure there was sufficient time to install his sculpture before the opening. Mr Talbot, from Leek, said: “We've placed it at ground level so you can sit with it, have your photograph taken with it. It's not elevated on a plinth in a traditionally superior way, it's accessible to the public as he wrote about Stoke-on-Trent and the people of Stoke-on-Trent.”