Chance to have your say on proposed statues for Ipswich-born aviation pioneer Edith Cook

EADT NEWS - Richard Smith
Colin Durrant (left) and Andy Taylor are pictured at the Suffolk Aviati

EADT NEWS - Richard Smith Colin Durrant (left) and Andy Taylor are pictured at the Suffolk Aviation Heritage Group in Foxhall. They are trying to raise money for a statue in memory of Edith Cook, the first woman pilot in the country, who was born in Ipswich. Copy pictures of Edith. Pix Phil Morley 21/4/08 EADT 24/4/08

A project to erect a statue honouring one of Ipswich’s most famous heroines has taken a big step forward, as sketches of the proposed memorial have been made public.

The proposed site for a new statue of Ipswich aviatrix Edith Cook

The proposed site for a new statue of Ipswich aviatrix Edith Cook - Credit: Archant

Aviation pioneer Edith Cook, who took part in more than 300 parachute jumps, made history in 1910 when she became the first British woman to pilot a plane.

The initiative to create a lasting reminder of the Ipswich-born woman has been led by the Suffolk Aviation Heritage Group.

Sketches commissioned by the organisation of how the statue could look are now being shown in a public exhibition at the town’s Tourist Information Centre, in St Stephen’s Lane.

David Stainer, Tourist Information Centre manager, said: “It is a small exhibition for information and for the public to come in and have a look at it.


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“There are two ideas for the proposed statue which have been sketched and people are invited to comment on the two designs.”

The project launched in 2007 and last year outline planning permission was granted for a statue to be erected in Fore Street, which will be in sight of her birth place.

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The monument itself will be produced in bronze by Suffolk sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, who is behind Ipswich’s Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson statues.

It is hoped the costs for the statue of about £60,000 will be raised through a public appeal.

The project has been supported by the Ipswich Women’s Festival Group, which has included Edith on their Ipswich Women’s History Trail.

Joy Bounds, part of the group, said: “We are really delighted if the statue goes ahead and we would love to see the different ideas.”

Edith was born in 1878 and first took the controls of a plane in January 1910, when she flew a Bleriot XI at Pau Airfield in southern France.

She died in July that year at the age of 31 when she collided with a building in Coventry during a jump.

The exhibition, which is now under way, is due to last until Christmas.

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