Bid to repair Grimsby lion statue destroyed in car crash hits target

One of Weelsby Woods' 140-year-old lion statues was knocked off its plinth by a car in April. Credit: MEN Media

A fundraiser to repair a 140-year-old statue of a lion which was knocked off its plinth by a car has reached its target within a week.

The statue is one of two at the entrance to Weelsby Woods, Grimsby, which were installed at the park at its opening in 1951.

But residents were left devastated after a car collided with it in April, knocking it off its plinth with a section of its face left missing and parts of it scattered around the area.

Only the paws were left attached to the plinth following the crash. Credit: MEN Media

A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving whilst disqualified and possession of cannabis.

Four months on, the voluntary Friends of Weelsby Woods group decided to launch a community fundraiser to repair the statue and get it back on its feet alongside its companion.

To their surprise, the fundraiser hit its £10,000 target in just seven days.

Secretary Jemmima Edwards thanked all those who contributed.

A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to a number of offences involved with the crash. Credit: MEN Media

"This is the largest project we’ve ever attempted, and everything happened at a phenomenal speed," she said.

"We only reached the target because of community support, we really can’t thank people and local businesses enough.

"We had to pause the fundraiser on Tuesday as we received some very generous donations and we needed time to catch up with everything.

"The sheer volume of messages and emails shows how important and iconic Weelsby lions are to Grimsby, Cleethorpes and the wider county."

She said the project had demonstrated that the lions are "more than just a pair of statues" and provide a connection to the people of Grimsby "between generations and across the globe".

Ms Edwards confirmed the group's next steps would be to contact the stonemason in Lincoln who has been tasked with the lion's repair.

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