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The March for Lord Hill’s statue

  • Lord Hill's Column, Shrewsbury

Shoppers and visitors to Shrewsbury are in for a rare treat during the morning of Saturday 9th April when around 100 members of the armed forces will march through the town in full uniform to welcome Rev’d Richard Hayes and Nigel Hill to Shrewsbury, after they complete a 75 mile sponsored walk from Lord Uxbridge’s column in Anglesey to Lord Hill’s column in Shrewsbury. They are undertaking this five-day marathon to raise funds for the replacement of Lord Hill’s statue at the top of the column.

The walk will start at 08.45am on Monday 4th April in Anglesey when the Anglesey Hussars will give Richard Hayes, Chairman of the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column and Nigel Hill, a distant relative of Lord Hill, their marching orders. Cannon-fire will alert local people to their departure. Richard and Nigel will wear the full period uniform of the 23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fuziliers), one of the regiments commanded by Lord Hill during the Peninsular War and at Waterloo, throughout the five-day walk along the A5 to Shrewsbury. They will arrive at the castle in Shrewsbury at 11am on Saturday 9th April to be greeted by serving soldiers of the Royal Lancers, Royal Welsh Regiment, Rifle Brigade, members of Shropshire Army Cadet force and senior soldiers who will then escort them through the town to Lord Hill’s column at Shirehall. The welcoming party there will include the Mayor, the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sherriff. It is anticipated that they will arrive at the column at 12 noon with a bugler at the top of the column alerting everyone to the arrival of the parade. Shirehall canteen will serve refreshments until 2pm and then the column will be open to the public until 4pm.

Commenting on the walk Richard said, ‘There has been tremendous support for this walk and we have already raised over £1,000 from public donations. The idea of a walk from one column to another has clearly captured people’s imagination and it has reminded everyone about Shropshire’s famous General, Lord Hill. We hope that everyone will enjoy the pageantry and spectacle of the parade itself but there is a serious message here. The column and its statue are an important historical and architectural asset for Shrewsbury and it should be used to draw tourists to the town, who in turn, help local businesses to prosper. We are doing this walk to draw attention to the plight of a significant local monument and to help Shropshire Council in its fund-raising programme so that we can start work making an exact copy of the statue this year. The statue is of very great interest, being made in 1816 of Coade Artificial Stone, and at 4.5 m high is probably the largest statue ever made at Mrs Coade’s works in Lambeth.’

The Town Crier will announce Richard and Nigel’s arrival at Shrewsbury Castle outer forecourt at 11am and the parade will assemble there. It will then march to Shirehall via Castle Street, St Mary’s Street, Dogpole, Wyle Cop, the English Bridge and Abbey Foregate to the column at Shirehall.

The route will be stewarded and there will be slight delays to traffic between 11.15am and approximately 11.45am as the procession will be undertaken under a ‘rolling road closure’ with traffic following on behind. 

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