Sharpen your pencils, hone up your history...Leeds’ great Millennium statue vote is under way, writes Guardian northern editor Martin Wainwright. Leeds Civic Trust is organising a city-wide election to pick the first daughter, son or symbol of Leeds to be honoured in a series of sculptures for the 21st century.
The site is sorted: the Eastgate roundabout where the new Millennium fountain is due to be finished by Christmas Eve, plus its surroundings from the foot of the lower Headrow to the Playhouse bank.
The money is ready: the Trust has financial backing for a first commission (involving no public funds) to sculpt the winning subject of this city-wide election.
And future plans are in hand: the statue is intended to be the first of a lot, with other sponsors coming forward to honour more of Leeds’ candidates for fame - especially the runners-up in this poll.
So vote now! There are only two conditions: your choice must have a definite link with Leeds, and if it is a particular person, they must not be living (sorry Sir Jimmy Savile, Alan Bennett, Scary Spice et al.)
Will you go for a University hero like Sir Michael Sadler? Or cast the net wider: prime minister Herbert Asquith, writer Storm Jameson or sculptor Henry Moore (maybe with a hole in his tummy). Or choose a ‘type’ such as a Leeds Loiner gossiping at the lane (loin) end or a child millworker.
Ballot papers can be printed from here. Votes can be cast direct to the Civic Trust (17-19 Wharf Street, Leeds LS2 7EQ marked 'vote') faxed to 0113 243 9594, email email@example.com, or through the University press office.
Reporter 442, 8 November 1999
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