Another statue. From a distance, given its location, it looks a little like the Tomb of the Unknown Yuppie, but it’s really something quite different.
This is situated in a garden where I sometimes eat my lunch – the Goldsmiths’ Company garden. It was originally commissioned by the Westminster Press and stood just off Fleet Street. When the area was redeveloped it was removed and ended up in a scrapyard in Watford. It was rescued by the writer Christopher Wilson, who persuaded the Goldsmiths’ Company – who owned the land on which it had stood – to relocate it to their garden.
The name is misleading, as only the figure on the left, as you look it, is a printer. He is a compositor, and his “stick” spells out the name of the sculptor (“stick” being the technical printer’s term for the, er stick that held the type that he was about to set up). (My grandfather and his father before him – on the more literate side of the family – worked as comps incidentally, and both, no doubt as a result, were dab hands at Scrabble). The slightly simian figure on the right is a newsboy and the one in the middle is variously described as an editor or a proprietor.
The compositor has, of course, been rendered obsolete by the march of progress, and so too – since the Evening Standard became a free-sheet – has the newsboy. I wonder how long it will be before the editor joins them?
I haven’t been able to discover a great deal about Wilfred Dudeney, apart from the fact that he was born in Leicester and was the son of a journalist. His other famous work is Boy Riding a Ram, which is to be seen in Derby.
(Every time I insert spaces between the paragraphs in this post, some unseen hand removes them again. Perhaps some ghostly comp taking his revenge?)