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Should the Hug be moved?

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

By Gareth Butterfield

Shrovetide Hug sculpture

Comments (14)

THE neglected state of a lasting monument to Ashbourne's proud Shrovetide heritage has led to calls from the public to move it to the town centre. 

The suggestion by News Telegraph readers to move the striking Hug sculpture from its over-grown plot off Mayfield Road to Civic Square has already found favour with some of Ashbourne's decision makers.

County Council bosses have already announced plans to introduce an artistic Shrovetide feature in the newly laid-out pedestrian area next to the forthcoming Library and Information Centre, but it is now suggested that the sculpture becomes an eye-catching centrepiece at the district council-owned site.  Property developer Peter Gadsby, whose firm Cedar House Investments paid for the sculpture and owns the site, said he would be "more than happy" for the sculpture, which was designed by Ashbourne artist Neil Hawksworth, to be moved if it was the wish of the community.

On reflection, he said, it may well make it more accessible and could be made more of a feature of the town centre.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Committee secretary Mick Betteridge has also said he feels it is a "good idea".

As part of Ashbourne's litter-busting initiative LETS-LAST Mr Betteridge calls in periodically to clear litter from the site but admits that, in its current state, the sculpture -which is becoming covered in green algae - is a poor reflection on the committee and the town itself.

He said: "Personally, I would welcome the idea to move the sculpture. It's in a bit of a hollow at the moment and it's not being maintained so soon it will be so over-grown nobody will be able to see it."

Derbyshire County Council leader Andrew Lewer, who announced the plans to revamp Civic Square, said: "The suggestions that have been put forward to move the hug monument are certainly interesting.  "The County Council is happy to talk about them in conjunction with our Derbyshire Dales District Council partners.” Questions still remain over who could fund the moving and subsequent up-keep of the sculpture, which was installed four years ago at the cost of £150,000.

*WHAT do you think? Should the Hug be moved to Civic Square? Or is it better off where it is. Write to us or email us with your views.

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14 comments

  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 28 2012, 8:48AM

    Dont waste any more money on this utter rubbish, how anyone could pay £150,000 for a lump of metal like this is a disgusting scandel,makes one wonder if back handers were involved in this matter."The Hug ?" please dont insult us, its just a lump of metal.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 11 2012, 6:37PM

    Definately need moving. It's a tragedy that it sits in an overgrown site currently. It's what Ashbourne is famous for and it should be where the locals and tourists can see it. In the town.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 04 2012, 5:05PM

    Yes let get some use out of it instead of leaving to overgrown

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 04 2012, 4:00PM

    No-it's a dreadful sculpture. Why would people want to look at it everyday? Get a decent statue made instead of this piece of scrap metal which looks nothing like a hug.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 25 2012, 8:15AM

    It must be some local thing to call officials,"Bosses".If fact they don't boss anything,They are your employees,Just don't lose that fact,In fact in this case they should obey local sentiment and move the sculpture.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 25 2012, 6:24AM

    Yes move it, and while your at it, move the Millennium clock too

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 25 2012, 12:18AM

    It would be a great idea to move it to a more central location as it is wasted where it is now.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 24 2012, 8:18PM

    If the area around the statue was kept in good order rather than being overgrown it would look lovely where it is now, who's to say they'd look after it any better if it was moved!

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 24 2012, 6:55PM

    I think moving the hug is a great idea - I always wondered why it was placed so far out of the way in the first place to be honest. You only ever drive passed it so it cannot be appreciated!!

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 24 2012, 4:39PM

    Yes The Hug should be moved. It would be a great for the focus of it to be in the centre of town. People could have photographs with it and enjoy its presence. It's lost where it currently stands!

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