Fleetwood Civic Society, Fleetwood Museum and Fleetwood Rotary Club worked together to put a statue of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood at the heart of the town which he founded. Everyone was invited to the unveiling ceremony on Sunday 6 May 2018.
On a grey June day in 2020, we went for a walk around the historic area adjacent to Fleetwood seafront. It’s much quieter than usual because it’s during restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic. But you’ll get a good look at Sir Peter in the film –
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Unveiling of the Statue of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood
The sun shone and it was a glorious Bank Holiday Sunday for the unveiling of the statue in Euston Gardens.
Fleetwood Old Boys Band entertained the crowds, along with Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band. The official unveiling ceremony took place at 2.15pm.
Many thanks to Julie Dalton for these excellent photos from the event.
With thanks to all of the benefactors and supporters who have made this possible. After months of work it’s wonderful to acknowledge the importance of Sir Peter to the history of Fleetwood with this prestigious piece of sculpture.
More about the Statue
If you’re familiar with Fleetwood, you’ll know that there are memorials, statues and tributes to all kinds of local people and events.
So it’s quite ironic that, until now, there wasn’t a statue of the founding father of Fleetwood himself – Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood.
Once they’d realised that the most important person wasn’t represented in the town, local groups joined together to put it right. Fleetwood Civic Society, Fleetwood Museum and Fleetwood Rotary Club spent several years and a lot of hard work fundraising and obtaining permission to deliver this project.
In total, £40,000 was raised to erect the bronze statue of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood. Funding came from various kind benefactors, including a substantial contribution from Mrs Lofthouse of Fisherman’s Friend. Others came from the Haldane Trust and The Payback Time Trust along with individual bequests from local people.
The statue is a bronze, created by sculptor Alan Ward from Lancaster. He’s the most local sculptor who could produce such a piece of work.
Work in Progress
As of the end of July 2017, the team had secured planning permission and instructed the sculptor to start work on the maquette of the statue. A maquette is a small scale model, a three dimensional proof of the finished thing.
The maquette was on display at Fleetwood Museum for Heritage Open Days Weekend in September 2017.
It was a very popular attraction. The Museum was busy all weekend, especially on the Sunday when the sculptor himself was present.
More about Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood
Sir Peter, descendant of Edmund Fleetwood, was the first named person to reside at Rossall Hall. He was the man who put the town of Fleetwood on the map.
Born on 9th May 1801 in Wennington Hall near Lancaster, he was Lord of the Manor, High Sheriff of the County of Lancashire and MP for Preston. It was after being knighted that he changed his name to Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood.
At this time, nearby Poulton-le-Fylde was the busy sea port for sailings to the Americas. But Sir Peter believed that Fleetwood held the makings of a busy seaport and popular resort. It had a river mouth, a natural sheltered harbour, golden sands, sea, air like wine and breathtaking views across Morecambe Bay. All that it lacked was a railway from Preston.
Peter Hesketh hired the prominent architect of the time, Decimus Burton. Work on the railway and the first buildings commenced in 1836. And the rest, as they say, is history…
- Explore the rest of the story and the history of Fleetwood here.
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