Alfred Salter statue: council seeks new location in SE16 or SE1

Southwark Council is asking local residents for their views on plans for a new statue of Bermondsey MP and social reformer Dr Alfred Salter to replace the bronze figure stolen from the SE16 riverside last November.

Alfred Salter statue: council seeks new location in SE16 or SE1
Stolen: Dr Salter's Daydream (photo by Jim Linwood)
Alfred Salter statue: council seeks new location in SE16 or SE1
The Salter family cat was removed from the river wall for safekeeping (photo by Laura Nolte)

The seated statue of Dr Salter was stolen from Cherry Garden last year and the accompanying sculptures of his daughter Joyce and the family cat were removed for safekeeping.

The piece, entitled Dr Salter's Daydream, was created by Diane Gorvin.

A community group formed in the hope that the original statue could be recovered but soon refocused its efforts on making plans for a new public memorial to the the famous doctor and parliamentarian.

With £20,000 already raised towards a £100,000 appeal target, Southwark Council has now published a questionnaire to offer Bermondsey and Rotherhithe residents the opportunity to comment on the form and location of the new artwork.

There are plans to incorporate Alfred's wife Ada into the new artwork in recognition of her own role as a councillor and Mayor of Bermondsey.

Residents are being asked whether the new statue should be made of stone, bronze or aluminium. They are also asked to comment on whether Diane Corvin should be commissioned to make the new pieces or whether an open competition should be held.

The working group has shortlisted eight possible sites for the statues – three in SE1 and five in SE16.

1. St James Churchyard (funerals of Alfred and Ada Salter were held here)
2. Southwark Park (Ada Salter Memorial Gardens)
3. Bermondsey Wall East (by The Angel pub)
4. Canada Water (plaza in front of new library)
5. Jamaica Road plaza – near Dr Salter’s original surgery
6. St Mary Magdalen Churchyard – in Dr Salter’s parliamentary constituency
7. Bermondsey Square – in Dr Salter’s parliamentary constituency
8. Tooley Street – the Salters built a playground for local children in the street

The proposed sites have been considered for their suitability on security, historical relevance, footfall and visual criteria.

Sites considered and rejected include Bermondsey Station, Spa Gardens, Tanner Street Park, Paterson Park, Long Lane, Cherry Garden and the Thames Path near London Bridge.

The survey document is available as a PDF and responses can be sent to the council until Friday 11 May.

To find out more or make a donation to the new statues fund, contact Andrea Allen in the council's environmental improvement team on cgs@southwark.gov.uk or call 020 7525 0860.

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