"Ernest Gillick's statue of Sir Francis Powell stands in Mesnes Park, Wigan. Erected in his home town in 1910, the statue is made from bronze, which after turning green in colour due to lack of treatment, was restored in 2012. The statue shows Powell sat in his office chair, deep in thought. It also shows his right leg crossing in front of his left, which makes his right shoe protrude out further than the statue's base. It has long been a long-standing superstition that the rubbing of Powell's protruding shoe will bring a person good luck. Local belief in this tale is so strong that the shoe of the statue was never allowed to turn green due to the constant rubbing by locals and tourists."
Comment by Fred Mason on 4th October 2016 at 00:05
Well captured, Dave. Great angle.
Comment by Mick on 4th October 2016 at 04:38
I think what spoils this statue is Sir Francis big overcoat hanging on the back of his chair, it would have looked a lot better if he had hung it up on a hook on the back of his office door.
Comment by Vb on 4th October 2016 at 08:23
The sculptor is showing his skill in modelling the folds in the overcoat.... It allows you to think was he detained from leaving at the last minute? Did something urgent crop up? ( the side of the head looks a bit damaged to me)! The park wouldn't be the same without the statue. I bet there's hundreds of photographs of Wiganers standing near the base of it.
Comment by Carolean on 4th October 2016 at 08:33
When I was growing up this man was always referred to with his full name of Sir Francis Sharp Powell. Interesting that he lived and died in Horton Hall Yorkshire !!
Comment by irene roberts on 4th October 2016 at 09:12
I remember being lifted up to rub Sir Francis's shoe, but his sightless eyes frightened me, and I only pretended to make a wish. On wintry nights, my Dad always used to say, "Owd Mon!.....Ah'm cowder than yon mon in't t'park", and I would edge closer to the fire and imagine Sir Francis sitting in the icy dakness. Little ones in Wigan continue to be lifted up to rub that famous shoe; I love to see them and hope all their wishes come true.
Comment by maggie on 4th October 2016 at 09:38
Thank you so much for this. It brings back so many happy memories, mainly going to the Park with my parents on a Sunday afternoon. My Dad working shifts meant we did not have many family outings.
Comment by A.W. on 4th October 2016 at 10:58
Mick - Unfortunately the budget did not run to modelling an office door as well!
Comment by Mick on 4th October 2016 at 11:15
A.W. there would be no need to make a office door with a overcoat hung on it.
If anybody was taking a photo these days they would say hang on a bit let me move that mucky overcoat first.
Comment by . Ozymandias . on 4th October 2016 at 12:44
I wouldn't surprise me to learn that he left his vest and underpants lying about all over the place either Mick.
Comment by Vb on 4th October 2016 at 14:20
If I ever asked mi mam where such a body was she would always reply ... "she's run off wi that man in't park wit stone belly!"
Comment by Mick on 4th October 2016 at 16:27
There a video here of somebody actually having a gentle rub of his shoe.
Comment by Sue on 4th October 2016 at 18:24
Yes I have a photograph of myself rubbing the toe taken approximately 40 years ago !
Comment by Phil Topping on 24th October 2016 at 14:17
Blank? No photo.
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