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The Laz Word....from Larry Neild

The well hung equestrian statue has vanished from Church Street. Has it gone to pastures new? Can we have it back?

Published on July 14th 2008.


The Laz Word....from Larry Neild

A HORSE, a horse, my city for a horse. Sorry, Billy Shakespeare, it was the obvious intro. A while ago, before some considered me a bandit, I was, now-and then, invited to engage in the occasional civic duty.

One such task was an invite to select an item of street art to be placed in Church Street, paid for by an £80,000 grant to the city council.

Lady Doreen Jones blurted it out, It’s got rather large, you know, beneath.
OK Lady D, let’s not beat about the bush:
It was blessed with enormous knackers

It came down to two choices: a clever collection of suitcases and travel bags, and a rope horse.

The suitcases were ruled out because we were warned they could pose a health and safety issues in busy Church Street.

I recommended a work called The Great Escape, by Pendle born sculptor Edward Cronshaw. It was essentially a man stood next to a horse. The work was fashioned in one very long piece of rope before being cast in bronze. Clever or what? Cronshaw’s four-stone work won the race.

Somewhile later the judges, me included, were blindfolded and taken to some council-owned stable to be given a sneak preview of the horse.

There was something about it none of us could put a finger on, until judging panel chairman Lady Doreen Jones blurted it out: It’s got rather large, you know, beneath. OK Lady D, let’s not beat about the bush. It was blessed with enormous knackers.

I was not sure then, nor am I now, whether Cronshaw’s sculpture used as a model for his work a stallion that was the equine equivalent of Error Flynn. Or was it his idea of a spherical phallic symbol?

The Great Escape earned its love-it-or-hate-it place just opposite the old Lyceum, and, indeed, its very public private parts became something of a

talking point. I swear I once heard a giggling duo from Blundellsands called Ethel and Gertrude whisper.... My Archibald was never built like that.

Then the horse was moved. Irresponsible students and an army of spearmint lovers complained they needed more street space on which to spit out their gum.

So where did the Great Escape escape to? And can we please have it back, in Church Street?

The real reason for the horse riding into the sunset was to enable Church Street to be given a makeover. Our delinquent council decided, as it does, that the citizens are not entitled to too much of a good thing.

Enter European Objective One funding with a splendid sum, said by horse-expert Lady Doreen to be around £300,000, to pay for a new piece of street art. This was to be a metal ribbon starting In Church Street and meandering towards Lord Street.

In 2006, Ribbons of Life was withdrawn. Lady D spoke against it on safety grounds, and so did I. The original work would have seen a steel ribbon flush with the pavement, rising 13 times as sculpture. Just as the suitcases were a potential hazard, our view was so was this. When an amended version came before the planning committee last week, retired politician Lady D rode into the council chamber like some Joan of Nark, and again protested against the modified Ribbons of Life work. Grosvenor, owners of squeaky-clean Liverpool One, don’t want the ribbon near the entrance to their shopping and leisure emporium.

The ribbon is supposed to represent the economic, cultural and social strands of Liverpool. To me it represents the fact that Brussels must have more money than sense.

It’s an interesting piece of work, albeit expensive, and deserves a home, just as the suitcases, adored but rejected, were found a brilliant spot in Mount Street.

The planning committee wants more information before saying if it will consent to the Ribbons being allowed to take pride of place in Lord Street.

Me? I say, a horse, a horse, my city for a horse. Bring back the rope horse (to Church Street) and as well as the city, you can have a year long cultural festival as well.

*Larry Neild presents the political show, The Commons Touch, on CityTalk 105.9 at noon each Sunday.

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DigJuly 14th 2008.

I'd be happy to let you rub me for good luck Scouse Bird. When you're rubbing me I'd be sure I'm the luckiest man in the world!!

Liverpool ResurgentJuly 14th 2008.

on Lewis's can be disconcerting to look up at when it is raining.

Scouse BirdJuly 14th 2008.

I miss that Horse. I always gave his two veg a little rub for good luck when walking down Church Street.

surrealistfairybeautyJuly 14th 2008.

tis i the brunette 30s film star beauty who is a surrealist artist http://www.artwanted.com/wonderful and i have to say this looming equine be jumping mare reminded me of lots of dark spaghetti moulded together. it was very realistic despite this in form which is often typical of liverpool art- beatles beatles realism beatles realism. i think it was trying to get away from the hordes of gravy faced bleached hair loud voiced chavs scared they would make ugg boots from his tail.

Paul McDermottJuly 14th 2008.

I was miffed to discover, within 24 HOURS of me referring to this piece of equine braggadoccio in a novel I'm writing, it had been MOVED from where my two characters had arranged to meet .......!!I WANT IT BACK!!! My readers have a RIGHT to accuracy of detail in the plot!

Ophelia DickieJuly 14th 2008.

You're making a rod for your own back, Professor! The Council would have to give planning permission for an extension that size, though I can see that many might consider it ‘engorgeous’.

Big DigJuly 14th 2008.

'Ere! Are you lookin' at my bird?

JennyJuly 14th 2008.

Please men calm down, although this city has a long history of public cocks, I always get a twinge whenever I pass the Epstein sculpture on Lewis's (as it'll always be to me).

TriggerJuly 14th 2008.

In this 'city of learning', perhaps the horse has gone off to do his 'Hay' Levels?

Prof Y. ChucklebuttyJuly 14th 2008.

I always thought it was called the Liverpool Detergent because the local bigots at the time complained it was Omo-Erotic. They really should repair the mechanism that altered the appearance each morning. I remember seeing nine seagulls perched. That was even more disconcerting for passers-by.

Mr EdJuly 14th 2008.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and nobody can talk to a horse of course,

Champion the Wonder HorseJuly 14th 2008.

Neigh!

DidJuly 14th 2008.

That is just awful Trigger. Bloody awful. He isn't doing 'hay' levels. He met a nice filly, moved to the country and settled down into a nice 'stable' relationship.

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