Residents sign petition to rid town of obelisk


Natalie Davies

SCORES of St Asaph residents and visitors have have called for the controversial HM Stanley obelisk to be removed.

Over 160 people have so far signed signed a petition in the City Newsagents and the town’s post office calling for the ‘phallic’ like statue to be taken down immediately.

The petition reads: “We, the residents of St Asaph, neither like nor want the H. M Stanley totem pole and request that it be removed.”

The mayor of St Asaph, Andrew Pirie, has now admitted that the majority of residents do not like the statue.

But the town council cannot afford to remove the £18,000 obelisk in the immediate future.

“Obviously this petition shows the depth of feeling about the statue and the council will have to see what they can do about it,” he said.

“However I think the council can’t do much in the next few years as they can’t afford to pay back the costs of the statue if it is removed.

“It is case of seeing how things go. If in a year’s time there is still the same intensity of feelings towards it then we will have to have a look at it.

“However there are many who do stop me in the street and say how fantastic it looks.

“I sense that more people are accepting it now it has been weathered and toned down a bit.

“Though I accept that the general consensus is not in favour of it.”

Residents’ comments on the petition have included: ‘It’s horrendous’, ‘waste of money’ and ‘It’s an eyesore’.

N. Gregson, a visitor to the town said it ‘spoils a pretty town’.

The HM Stanley memorial caused waves when it was suddenly erected at the end of May, weeks before the formal unveiling.

This was followed by a stinging criticism by the Bishop of Asaph, saying there were others more deserved of recognition.

Former St Asaph councillor John Smith said the obelisk had been likened to a ‘tin can’.

Parishioners then joined the debate posting damning comments on the Free Press website.

Annieliz wrote: “Congratulations St Asaph city council you have succeeded in making St Asaph a laughing stock.”

Xena215 posted: “Not everyone wants to look at this monstrosity day after day - it would be more appropriate and tasteful for a simple plaque to be placed at HM Stanley Hospital instead of an ugly, phallic symbol next to the local church.”

See full story in the Free Press

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