Cornwall, England, birthplace of Cornish cream tea and the Cornish Pies, is not the kind of place you would imagine descending into barbarism. Its gentlemen are generally polite, taking their caps off as passing ladies curtsy in response. Her young boys take the nans by the hand, guiding them home from the local market with baskets full of farm-fresh eggs, curds and whey. The bobbies wish “good day” to the tofs, the tofs to the chimney sweeps and everyone gets along wonderfully.
Picturesque and charming or at least it was quaint and charming until a local charity offered to donate a 5 meter bronze statue of a surfer to the town in honor of the 60th anniversary of the arrival of surfing in the sunny southwest of Britain. The problem? The council, currently in financial difficulty, is expected to pay for installation and maintenance at around £20,000 initially, with £2,500 more each year.
While many are excited about the monument, others are furious that the hard-earned coin is going to a waste of time symbol.
Monique Collins, the director of Disc, a drop-in and sharing center in Newquay, said The Guardian“To have council tax go on a statue when so many people are struggling to eat properly or pay their bills is ridiculous.”
Kate Larsen, a Green Party adviser, added: “It doesn’t seem fair to me when this money could be spent on people who are really struggling with a cost of living crisis. I’m absolutely for beautifying the town, but I’d rather see the funds used to ensure that the lowest paid council workers and contractors earn a real living wage and that we support local charities that help people in this perfect storm of stressful housing issues, rising energy costs and inflation.
The Keogh Foundation, founded by Newquay surfing pioneers Stuart and Cherry Keogh, argued, on the other hand, that “the iconic structure pays homage to the deep and significant heritage of surfing culture in Newquay”.
Ardent vitriol not seen since the battle of Braddock Down.
But, if you lived in Cornwall, where would you fall in relation to the statue?
And if they sculpted the face of Kelly Slater in the mash of bronze (photo above)?
More as the story develops.