If you’ve ever been to Southend on Sea, you may well have strolled past the imposing statue of Queen Victoria sitting high atop a plinth in Clifftown Terrace. The statue was donated to Southend in 1897 by the Mayor, Bernard Wiltshire Tolhurst, in commemoration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Initially, the statue was placed on Grove Terrace, outside the Grand Pier Hotel but was moved in 1962 to it’s current position. This glorious stone Victoria, declared part of English Heritage in 1974, has sat regally pointing out to sea for 117 years.
You would think she would be safe up there wouldn’t you? But no, our Empress of India (a title she used herself) has had her hand stolen several times and at one time, was left completely handless.
In 2008, local sculptors Bedini & Sons were contracted to carve the queen a brand new hand, especially made from Italian Carrara marble (posh!)
This popular lady was also actively pursued by the City of Victoria, in British Columbian Canada who tried to buy her (how very dare they!)
In 2011, there was a proposal to relocate her to Victoria Circus. This was also refused.
Today I passed this thought provoking queen and was terribly saddened to see that some absolute imbecile has actually gone to all the trouble of climbing up the plinth, to snap her finger off. What’s the point eh? (no pun intended). Seriously, whoever you are, it’s not big and it’s not clever; you’re just an idiot.
Stealing a queen’s finger, hmmmm is that high treason? Whatever it is, she will not be defeated by the mere stealing of her finger. In fact, if she were alive today, she would have told you that herself. To you vandal, she would have said:
“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.”
And then, I suspect she would have given you the finger………