Sculpting a piece of Halifax history

The sculptor of the new town centre memorial to the Duke of Wellington's Regiment wants his work to create a sense of civic pride.

Andrew Sinclair

Andrew Sinclair will produce the 12 feet tall, bronze statue which will be installed in the Woolshops shopping centre next May.

He is recognised as a master of world-class figurative sculpture and his catalogue of work graces distinguished historical properties and public places such as the Royal Box at Ascot, Epsom Racecourse, and Crosby Hall, Sir Thomas Moore’s old palace, in London.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He has been a professional sculptor for 25 years and is the lead teacher at the Sculpture School in Devon.

Andrew Sinclair (sculptor) with the Maquette

Andrew overcame competition from four or five other applicants for the tender, and visited Halifax before designing the sculpture to see where it was going and to speak to people involved, soldiers from the regiment and members of the public.

Describing the memorial, Andrew said: “There will be a base structure like a round tower made of Yorkshire stone, and on the bottom of the statue is a soldier from 1730.

“Halfway up is a Napoleonic Sergeant Major from 1830, and at the top is a modern soldier standing guard.

“I wanted to express a sense of family across the generations, of a father and son and his son all belonging to that regiment.

Andrew Sinclair (sculptor) with the Maquette

“For the marquette several other features were added, such as a rugby player as the town is famous for rugby, and a Britannia soldier with a Wellington crest.

“I only had a limited amount of time. We had a meeting before Christmas to discuss it, and I had from January to March to get the marquette done.

“The bottom of my world pretty much fell out at that point but I managed to get it done with two days to spare.”

The statue should be finished by September this year before it goes to a foundry to be made into bronze.

“I know how important the regiment has been to Halifax and the whole of the West Riding,” Andrew added.

“I was really moved by that passion during the launch event.

“I know the area is gutted the regiment is no longer there so I wanted to create something that makes them feel proud of that heritage and that gave employment to an area where it was difficult to find work at the time.”