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Jack of Newbury appeal launched

Residents urged to support scheme for iconic statue which will be a 'focal point in the town'

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

Jack of Newbury appeal launched

NEWBURY residents are being asked to donate money to enable a bronze statue of one of Newbury’s most iconic figures to be erected in the town.

A community fundraising appeal has been launched to raise £38,000 – the amount needed to create and erect the figure depicting Jack of Newbury. 

The Newbury Society is kick-starting the scheme with its own donation of £3,000.

Representatives from Newbury Town Council, local historian David Peacock, and Newbury mayor Margo Payne met at Newbury Building Society (NBS) earlier this week to officially launch the fund. 

They were joined by Emma Simms, marketing and communications manager at NBS and sculptor Luke Webb, who designed the statue. 

Newbury Town Council has agreed to make a five per cent contribution to the scheme, which will be match-funded by Greenham Trust via The Good Exchange’s on-line matching platform.  

The likeness of John Winchcombe II, also known as Jack of Newbury, will stand 2.35m tall outside the building where he lived at 25 Northbrook Street, near the corner of Marsh Lane.

One of Newbury’s most famous sons, he lived from 1489 to 1557. A renowned clothier, he is credited with creating the first factory in England, bringing work to hundreds of local people.

The sculpture will depict Jack of Newbury holding a yard of cloth in his right arm while raising his left hand as if to dramatically capture the moment he conceived the idea of scaling up the process of cloth production.

People can donate through The Good Exchange website or by depositing money at Newbury Building Society, where a ‘Jack of Newbury’ account has been set up.

Everyone who donates will have their name put in a time capsule, which will be opened in 50 years’ time. It will either be encased in a plinth and placed underneath the statue, or buried under a marked tree in Newbury’s Victoria Park.

Speaking at the launch, Mrs Payne urged people to support the project, adding that she was excited to bring her two grandchildren along to put their names inside the time capsule.

Mrs Payne said: “This will be a great legacy for them, to be able to say ‘That statue was put there 50 years ago by my grandparents’ generation’.

“We really want to make Jack of Newbury a focal point in the town.

“Let’s bring the persona of Jack of Newbury to life over the next few months.”

The chairman of the Jack of Newbury Sculpture Fund, Garry Poulson, who was also present at the launch said: “This is about allowing people to have an ownership of Newbury’s rich heritage in a tangible way.

“We want people on a Saturday morning, when they are going to meet friends in town, to say ‘Let’s meet by Jack’.”

To donate to the appeal, visit its fundraising page on The Good Exchange at   

If you donate via the platform, your money will be matched (doubled) by Greenham Trust.

If you visit Newbury Building Society to donate, your money will not be matched.

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Article comments

  • Top tech Tom

    16/09/2018 - 12:12

    what a true waste of money. how about the mayor actually concentrates one real issues, like the mayor of shefield.


  • Cazzie

    16/09/2018 - 09:09

    Was this the man that condemed three people to be Burned at the stake locally? Not really something I want to praise.


  • Charlie

    15/09/2018 - 17:05

    Oh my gosh! This cut out is even worse than the ghastly maquette that has been pictured before in relation to this proposal! Please no!


  • Justin S

    13/09/2018 - 22:10

    Rather financially get people off the streets this winter than donating anything to a pointless statue. Have we really got money floating around to justify such a hideous thing ? I don't think so.


    • Bombey

      14/09/2018 - 00:12

      £38,000 - peanuts. West Berks residents coughed up almost a million in 2 weeks to have their grass cuttings collected...


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