This photograph is out-of-date. It shows, just east of Tower Bridge in London, the bronze statue of Dr Alfred Salter. But in November, 2011, it was stolen by metal-thieves, and presumably melted down.
Not only Alfred but his wife, Ada, were legendary figures even in their own life-times, and their work for the community was internationally acclaimed. The doctor brought free, state-of-the-art medical facilities into the slums of Bermondsey. He created an ‘NHS before the NHS’. Ada helped thousands with her social clubs, especially for young working women, and later through her ‘Beautification Committee’ she covered the slums with gardens, trees, flowers, children’s playgrounds and open spaces for music and sports. Together they cleared away hovels and built model housing in accordance with garden-city ideals.
Are we to allow the metal-thieves to win and despoil the memory of this altruistic couple? The Salter Statues Campaign think not. That is why we are appealing for funds. The sum is large because of the extra security needed to stop theft in the future.
* We aim to include a statue of Ada this time, so that some good comes out of the metal-thieves’ action. Her statue will be one of only 15 public statues of women in London (and three of those are Queens), the only public statue of an elected female politician (Mrs Thatcher being inside the Guildhall) and the only public statue of a Quaker woman.
* Ada sacrificed a comfortable life in Northamptonshire to help the poor of London, and Alfred sacrificed a brilliant medical career at Guy’s, only for their daughter, Joyce, to die of scarlet fever in the slums. That is the tragic story told by the ensemble of statues, created by the artist, Diane Gorvin. The four statues are a true work of art, a truly human story.
* Our target is £50,000. This includes replacing Alfred’s stolen statue, adding the first-ever statue of Ada, re-installing the statue of their daughter, Joyce, with cat, and installing extensive security (the biggest single cost, thanks to the metal-thieves) so the statue is never stolen again.
* As of March 12th, 2014, we’ve raised the grand total of £38,330, counting both the Virgin Money Giving online and also the cheques sent in. But that’s not enough. We need your generous help for the remaining £11,660.
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