On Friday 26 April, Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd attended a ceremony in St. Leonards-on-Sea to unveil a new plaque for the Hastings-renowned Edith and Harold statue. Located on St. Leonards’ seafront, Edith and Harold constitute a powerful symbol of Hastings’ history and heritage having been fashioned in 1875 by sculptor Charles Wilke. The statue marks the moment at the end of the battle of Hastings when King Harold’s wife Edith was brought on to the battlefield to identify the king’s body.
The condition of the statue has however, gradually deteriorated over time as a result of its exposure to the elements. In response, local community champion Ian Jarman has taken it upon himself to raise funds to help protect Edith and Harold from further damage. So far, he has successfully raised enough funds to have a new plaque manufactured, which has now been attached to the statue’s plinth. Ian’s long-term aim is to erect a roof over the statue and towards that end, has launched a campaign dubbed ‘Campaign for a Roof for Edith’ (CARE).
Commenting on her visit to the Edith and Harold plaque unveiling, Amber said: “I am delighted to have been invited to unveil this new and impressive plaque for Edith and Harold. Cultural artefacts like this one remind me of what an honour it is to represent a constituency in Parliament that is so steeped in meaning for our country. I would like to thank Ian Jarman on behalf of all my constituents for his work for and service to our community – service, which will ensure that the link to our remarkable shared history remains both valued and strong.”
Photo: Amber is pictured in front of the Edith and Harold Statue in St. Leonards-on-Sea, along with Community Arts Fundraiser Ian Jarman and Hastings Mayor Nigel Sinden