Portrait Bench

Connect2 Northampton and the Chronicle & Echo have been asking the public to help choose a collection of three life size figures to be captured in a unifying piece of public artwork. The 2D figures must represent local people, heroes, characters or notable figures.  The Portrait Bench will be placed in a beauty spot on the Connect2 cycle route along the River Nene. The winners of the public vote can be viewed here. See examples of other portrait benches below.

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The Portrait Bench will be distinctive to the area and aims to:

  • Reflect local culture
  • Enhance the experience of people using the route
  • Become a destination in its own right
  • Create a focus for community activity that will help to improve the local environment
  • Be made from durable steel that will weather naturally

The scheme is part of Sustrans’ Connect 2 project, which won £50million from a Big Lottery Grant following a public vote in 2007.  The project will enhance walking and cycling routes in dozens of areas across the country. 

To see how other communities have selected their figures visit our National Projects page.



14 Responses to Portrait Bench

  1. Veronica Stone says:

    I think there should be something to recognise the shoe industry. Maybe a group of cobblers sewing shoes. Despite all the history of the town there is very little in terms of monuments which are clearly about the shoe and boot trade.

  2. Nominations from the public: Sir Malcolm Arnold, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a large otter, three sport people, Charles Bradlaugh, Paul Morgan, Allan Lamb, William Carey, John Clare, Des O’Connor, Marc Warren, Lesley Joseph, Colin Milburn, Wenman Bassett-Lowke, Thomas A Becket, Princess Diana, Roly Mills, Rowan Atkinson, David Bowen, Samuel Lloyd, H E Bates, Sir David Frost, Roger Moore, Roy Hudd, Keith Barwell, Guy Fawkes, Jim Dale, Ronald Radd, Lord Manfield, Freda Jackson, Alan Moore, Alan Carr, Stanley Unwin, Charles Wicksteed, Matt Smith.

  3. Dr Marie Dickie OBE says:

    I would like to vote for Wenman Joseph Bassett- Lowke not only an engineer of national importance, but a patron of the arts locally including architecture and the theatre. I would also want to vote for John Clare to represent connnections with the Northamptonshire countryside, as well as a radical and democratic tendency in the town. Finally I would vote for Princess Diana – not only because I am disapointed that she is the only woman to have made the final short list – but because like so many Northamptonians she was a bit of a rebel.

  4. Rob and Liz Gifford says:

    Let’s have Bassett-Lowke as a key contributor to the culture and history of Northampton.

  5. Sue Pritt says:

    M y vote goes to Bassett-Lowke (although I’m tempted to say Charles Rennie MacKintosh!)

  6. Richard Alcock says:

    My vote is for Wenman Bassett-Lowke who lived adjacent to this particular site at 78 Derngate and represents local innovation, together with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the most distinguished designer who is also the genius behind 78 Derngate, and John Clare Northamptonshire’s greatest poet who also was hopitalised less than a mile from this spot.

  7. Mrs. Lee Mason says:

    My vote is for Bassett-Lowke.

  8. Mike & Joy Smither says:

    We vote for William Carey because of his desire to share his Christian faith both in this county & abroad. His most famous quotation “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” remains relevant today.

    As a cobbler he also has links with the county’s shoe making history.

  9. Margaret Williams says:

    My vote goes to William Carey who reflects the shoe industry of the County and the non conformist tradition. He was a great walker. When living in Moulton he walked to Kettering and back every fortnight with boots he’d made and also walked miles to hear great preachers. Several hundred people each year from all over the world come to see where he lived in this county before becoming such an influential missionary, educator, social reformer, translator, publisher, innovator in India. And next year it will be 250 years since he was born here.

  10. Jill Sheffer says:

    My vote is for Mr Bassett-Lowke who leaves a great legacy to Northampton.

  11. Jean Ward says:

    My votes are for Bassett-Lowke and for Charles Rennie Macintosh.

  12. Bob Griffith says:

    Please record my vote for Wenman Bassett-Lowke.

  13. Michael Green says:

    I would like to vote for W.J.Bassett-Lowke who was a major contributor to both the economic and cultural interests of Northampton and deserves recognition for his contributions.
    Mike Green
    Bassett Lowke Society

  14. Patrick Crecraft says:

    I vote for Bassett-Lowke, who lived nearby (in two houses which introduced modernity to Northamton – with architects Charles Rennie Macintosh, and Behrens), raised the profile of the town and provided much empoyment with his world renowned model engineering factories, influenced the appearance of the Police – Fire Service – Baths complex, was an active Councilor, and whose enterprise and houses have provided the town with much needed tourest attractions.

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