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Thread: Vacant Plinth in Trafalgar Square

  1. #1
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    Vacant Plinth in Trafalgar Square

    I heard on the news that a campaign is being started to place a Spitfire on the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square to honour the sacrifices made during World War 2.

    I think this is wrong and want to start a counter campaign to place a Hurricane on the plinth.

    The Hurricane was the first ever monoplane fighter and first aircraft capable of 300mph in level flight.
    During The Battle Of Britain the Hurricane destroyed more than half of all the enemy aircraft kills.
    The only VC awarded to a Fighter Command pilot was to a Hurricane pilot, Flt Lt Eric Nicolson on the 16th August 1940.
    The highest scoring allied pilot of the battle was Czech pilot Sgt Josef Frantisek with 17 kills.
    And the Hurricane made up over two thirds of British fighter numbers during World War 2.

    Who wants to join my campaign....?
    If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

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    I really don't want to go through all of this Spitfire v's Hurricane stuff again...

    But, we enthusiasts have to remember that "Johnny Public" identifies with the Spitfire, and not the Hurricane. If we were to put a Hurricane on that plinth, then I'd bet my bottom dollar that most of them would think it was a Spitfire anyway!!

    Regards;
    Steve

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    The sacrifices were made by the crews that flew these machines. The aircraft is immaterial when you're talking in those terms.

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    I'd love to see a Hurricane on that plinth, but as stated above, the public would probably think it was a Spitfire anyway. Any exposure for the history and actions of the RAF in such a place is great, wether it is a Spitfire or Hurricane shouldnt matter. I was under the impression that the plinth was to be filled by a statue of some sort, I saw a review of the candidates on the BBC news the other day.

    Dean

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    re

    how about a statue of John Prescott?
    pb::

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der View Post
    The sacrifices were made by the crews that flew these machines. The aircraft is immaterial when you're talking in those terms.
    Der.

    I agree entirely.

    But why a Spitfire or Hurricane? How about a Flower Class Corvette, possibly one of the few classes of ship that was wetter inside than out? A Matilda? A Churchill? A Lee Enfield rifle?

    If you want something to represent sacrifice during the period 1939 - 1945, I would suggest something akin to the vignettes in place in the new Armed Forces Memorial at the NMA portraying not only the grief and sacrifice of those in the Armed Forces but the grief and sacrifice of the Nation as a whole. Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters.





    Regards,

    kev35
    Last edited by kev35; 11th January 2008 at 19:29.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADSACK View Post
    how about a statue of John Prescott?
    well, I'd get in a line behind the pigeons to do, well, what pigeons do to statues if he were to be put there. :diablo:

    as for the plinth, why not a statue of pilots, or a group of three, pilot, mechanic and waaf ?
    You can teach monkies to fly better than that....

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    Neither the Spitfire, or the Hurricane, (or for that matter any other A/C or machine) would be right, in both the setting , and context; I don't know how big the plinth is, but my suggestion would be a group of soldiers, in uniforms spanning several hundred years right up until present day,to remind people that like rust , war never sleeps.
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

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    re

    fat chance of the commonwealth getting any thanks I suppose?
    pb::

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    It's all pointless banter anyway, we all know it'll end up being some deformed piece of modern art; how about a burnt out car? Fantastic idea that



    Or how about this fantastic idea, let's just get people to volunteer to stand on it and look like prannocks!



    According to the 'artist', it's supposed to represent 'the subjective living body becomes both representation and representative, encouraging consideration of diversity, vulnerability and the individual in contemporary society’ - so in other words he went down the pub, thought of a stupid idea, wrote it down on the back of a fag packet and made it sound like he's a genius using key words, including the golden word 'diversity'
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADSACK View Post
    fat chance of the commonwealth getting any thanks I suppose?
    About the same as a monument to those who suffered under colonial oppression...or the innocent victims of the Bomber Command.
    But that's not what monuments are for.

    To quote the P-51 at Duxford's AAM..."Sherman Was Right".
    War is hell. But it is, it seems, sometimes necessary.

    At least a Spitfire is a thing of beauty and a reminder that war sometimes brings out the best in man...courage, honor, sacrifice.

    Aside from being a history lesson and a turning point in a long-ago war, perhaps to future generations the value in the Battle of Britian will be that it shows that ordinary men (and women) can do extraordinary things in the face of an overwhelming opposition.

    So a Spitfire/Hurricane isn't a bad symbol for the heart of London.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 11th January 2008 at 16:53.
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    Perhaps a statue of Sir Keith Park would be a more approriate choice - covers several different facets as well as giving him the credit he deserves for commanding 11 Group during the Battle of Britain.

    Regards,

    Dan

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    Personally I'd vote for the Hurricane but I don't see a chance for a poll - shame.
    The principle of a changing programme of contemporary art seems to be well established now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rlangham View Post
    how about a burnt out car?
    That is an anti-war protest. I think the idea is to use a car brought back from Iraq or create something to represent that conflict. There is another anti-war sculpture proposed for the plinth too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rlangham View Post
    Or how about this fantastic idea, let's just get people to volunteer to stand on it and look like prannocks!
    According to the 'artist', it's supposed to represent 'the subjective living body becomes both representation and representative, encouraging consideration of diversity, vulnerability and the individual in contemporary society’
    The artist is Anthony Gormley - the one who created The Angel of the North and the figures on Crosby Beach. When I met him he was the nicest, most everyday bloke you could hope to have a chat with. It is a shame that the art world distances itself from the general public behind this sort of impenetrable language.

    You never know, in the future an artist may decide to create a piece to commemorate the Battle of Britain, but not while anti-war art is the current vogue.
    "Writing is easy - all you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds." - Douglas Adams

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    Pondskater.

    "You never know, in the future an artist may decide to create a piece to commemorate the Battle of Britain, but not while anti-war art is the current vogue."

    The Battle of Britain monument not being an acceptable tribute or work of art?

    Regards,

    kev35
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    Nice pictures Kev35 , when, where , what is NMA ??

    Any statue / memorial is going to be more meaningfull than a aircraft replica. The general public will not understand why the aeroplane is significiant. Best leave aircraft related exhitbits in museums or adjacent to airfields.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    The Battle of Britain monument not being an acceptable tribute or work of art?
    Perfectly acceptable and more easily understood by the people who see it - as are those superb sculptures at the NMA you've highlighted. I simply missed out the words "on the vacant plinth".
    "Writing is easy - all you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds." - Douglas Adams

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAFRochford View Post
    I really don't want to go through all of this Spitfire v's Hurricane stuff again...

    But, we enthusiasts have to remember that "Johnny Public" identifies with the Spitfire, and not the Hurricane. If we were to put a Hurricane on that plinth, then I'd bet my bottom dollar that most of them would think it was a Spitfire anyway!!

    Regards;
    Steve

    Best solution is a compromise ...so why not one of each wing tip to wing tip ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SADSACK View Post
    how about a statue of John Prescott?
    Take one 'ell of a plinth !

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Boyle View Post
    About the same as a monument to those who suffered under colonial oppression...or the innocent victims of the Bomber Command.But that's not what monuments are for.

    To quote the P-51 at Duxford's AAM..."Sherman Was Right".
    War is hell. But it is, it seems, sometimes necessary.

    At least a Spitfire is a thing of beauty and a reminder that war sometimes brings out the best in man...courage, honor, sacrifice.

    Aside from being a history lesson and a turning point in a long-ago war, perhaps to future generations the value in the Battle of Britian will be that it shows that ordinary men (and women) can do extraordinary things in the face of an overwhelming opposition.

    So a Spitfire/Hurricane isn't a bad symbol for the heart of London.
    The monuments for that belong in the countries that feel they were oppressed or innocent. This is London, capital of the World. We ran it once, now it's USA's turn to have a go.
    Whist I would love the Hurricane up there, my fear is it would get climbed on and vandalised as a protest from the pinko element of our society.

    So how about a statue of some of our unsung hero's in civilian life. Christopher Cockerell for example.
    Fred Dibnah, now that's a good one. Most preservation societies now owe their existance because of his fabulous TV programmes, which have rekindled a public interest in real engineering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    If they did, it might look something like this....

    I doubt it - they would be accused of copying.

    The point is, artists are invited to suggest what should go on the vacant plinth and then the some are selected. With the current trends in contemporary art (particularly the dreadful remoteness of art from us normal people) we are unlikely to see a Spitfire, BoB or similar being the themes. But trends change.

    Superb photos Robbo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    I think that a statue of Fred Dibnah is a splendid idea.

    Me too.
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    Any statue with Fred Dibnah on it , must be propped up on cut down telegraph poles, and surrounded in old car tyres...
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    I think that a statue of Fred Dibnah is a splendid idea.

    Considering that his workshop and mineshaft has been vandalised, neglected and will soon be auctioned off to the highest bidder along with his house.

    Considering that his priceless, collection of rescued, irreplaceable relics of Britains past have been stolen and no doubt melted down by Pykies.

    Considering that his famous Land Rover has been left to rot.

    Considering that his two steam engines have had to be illegally taken to a secret place of safety by his real mates in order to save them.

    Considering that his wife Sheila, chucked out of the house and left penniless, is having to pound the lecture circuit to raise the £35,000 for a statue in his home town of Bolton because the local authority whose town he put on the map can't be ar##d.

    Considering that UK Discovery and History channels show his programmes back to back don't reveal what has happened to the memory of this great man.

    His statue should be 20ft high, a spitfire and hurricane in each hand, floodlit and with 'Did you like that' engraved in huge letters on the plinth.

    Or perhaps the 'Great' Damien Hirst will have other ideas involving bodily fluids, or Tracey Emin might be interested in bidding for his bed and displaying that, what do we know about art after all.
    Last edited by Pete Truman; 12th January 2008 at 08:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart gowans View Post
    my suggestion would be a group of soldiers, in uniforms spanning several hundred years right up until present day,to remind people that like rust , war never sleeps.
    I think that would make the most fitting, permanant sollution instead of using the plinth for a string of items that look out of place and out of context with the suroundings.

    Peter
    pb::

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    I feel somthing on the lines of the BofB memorial with all service & civilian organisations of both wars depicted, with the centre of the memorial emphesising the biltz.

    Lovely to see Poppies have been placed on the BofB memorial in the photos-nice to see somthing really positive & that thereare people out there that do care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Truman View Post
    Considering that his workshop and mineshaft has been vandalised, neglected and will soon be auctioned off to the highest bidder along with his house.

    Considering that his priceless, collection of rescued, irreplaceable relics of Britains past have been stolen and no doubt melted down by Pykies.

    Considering that his famous Land Rover has been left to rot.

    Considering that his two steam engines have had to be illegally taken to a secret place of safety by his real mates in order to save them.

    Considering that his wife Sheila, chucked out of the house and left penniless, is having to pound the lecture circuit to raise the £35,000 for a statue in his home town of Bolton because the local authority whose town he put on the map can't be ar##d.

    Considering that UK Discovery and History channels show his programmes back to back don't reveal what has happened to the memory of this great man.

    His statue should be 20ft high, a spitfire and hurricane in each hand, floodlit and with 'Did you like that' engraved in huge letters on the plinth.

    Or perhaps the 'Great' Damien Hirst will have other ideas involving bodily fluids, or Tracey Emin might be interested in bidding for his bed and displaying that, what do we know about art after all.
    Don't forget he should be showing a well aimed (reversed) Churchill salute.

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    Put a Merlin engine on top of it, problem solved

    Cheers

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    just leave it vacant


    then it cant be vandalised or nicked


    cos thats what'll happen
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    DOUGHNUT.

    The NMA is the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire. A beautiful place which is well worth the visit.

    London already has the same permanent reminder of the Blitz that has always been there, St. Paul's.

    Regards,

    kev35
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    Excuse my ignorance but regards Fred Dibnah - I remember the various programmes of him demolishing various towers etc . What other achievements did he do? Is he of a similar stature to the likes of Brunel - Churchill ?

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