Monday, 21 June 2010

Memory under threat

Even as  I posted this statue on Thursday I was knew that something was not right. Notice the strange marks on the ground, as if something has been removed. This statue has been castrated. 

But I couldn't find how it used to look anywhere on the web ( try Googling "Mankind under Threat" and see what you find!!!).
Fortunately, a very close friend of mine took a picture (below) of the original in 1986. Now the title "Mankind Under Threat" makes a bit more sense (though not much). The iron bars give it a more menacing air. Why they were removed and who by, I don't know; but my guess is that Hull Council had one of their perennial fits of stupidity and took an angle grinder to them. 

As it stands now, it's more "Mankind don't care at all"; no?

I think they should bring back those prison bars and give this thing some meaning again!

Photo by Margot K. Juby

The statue is the work of Jimmy Boyle, once said  to be the most violent man in Scotland and sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. It was gifted to the city by Susan and Alec Horsley who founded Northern Foods which until 2005 had its HQ in Hull but has now shifted to Leeds.

Thank you Margot , I owe you.


  1. That's a shame. Maybe you should send this photo to the former gangster, turned artist.

  2. The bars were probably a health hazard but it does sound like sacrilage to remove them. Good to hear of Margot again - I've got a poetry collection of hers on my bookshelf.

  3. The true meaning of the statue is lost with the removal of the bars .. a great pity.

    Perhaps vandals are to blame ?

  4. If the late Sebastian Horsley was being truthful (big if!), Boyle hated the statue, and he and Horsley got drunk the night before the unveiling, went down to the Gardens with hammers, and tried to smash it up. Horsley's verdict on piece, "You wouldn't want it in your garden even if you loved gnomes."