Campaign to raise money for a Michael Foot memorial in Plymouth
A campaign is being launched to raise funds to honour one of Plymouth’s most famous politicians, Michael Foot.
The Council is launching a subscription fund at an event this Friday (18 January) to raise money for a memorial to the man regarded as one of the towering figures of British politics.
Born in Plymouth in 1913, Michael was elected Member of Parliament for Plymouth Devonport in 1945 and later as the MP for Ebbw Vale in 1960 until 1992.
He became Leader of the Labour Party in 1980 and is fondly remembered in Plymouth, not only as one of its city’s most popular MPs, a trade unionist and a successful journalist, but also as a loyal and high-profile supporter of Plymouth Argyle. Right up until his death in 2010 Michael remained an ardent supporter of Plymouth, its football team and its people.
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The aim is create a memorial which reflects Michael's love of words; written, spoken and remembered by friends - carved, etched, cut out, in possibly Cornish granite, Plymouth limestone and stainless steel. The final design for the memorial will be revealed in the coming months.
The memorial will be located in the corner of Freedom Fields Park, and within sight of the house where Michael and his family lived. It is a fitting location as the park is also where Plymouth’s support for the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War is remembered. It was also the scene of many public speeches given by Michael and other members of the Foot family in Plymouth.
Deputy leader of the Council Peter Smith said: “Whatever your political persuasion, few can argue that Michael was a giant in British politics. But he was so much more for Plymouth.
“He was hugely intelligent, championed this city and its people. He was a man of words, an inspiring speaker and passionate about the power politics had to improve lives.”
The cost of the memorial will be raised solely by public subscription and it is hoped that the campaign will raise enough money to unveil the memorial on the 100th anniversary of Michael Foot’s birth on 23 July 2013. The appeal will be overseen by an independent group chaired by Plymouth Argyle Director, Peter Jones.
Peter Jones said: "Michael, like his father before him, was extremely proud to be a Plymothian, He never lost his passion for the city of his birth - or indeed its football club - and his contribution to the Plymouth's post-war recovery, working within a cross-party framework, was considerable. It is entirely appropriate that there should be a memorial to Michael within the city, and there can be no better location than Freedom Fields Park."
Councillor Smith added: “Over the coming months we want to hear people’s memories of Michael – he was such a big character and was so involved in many aspects of Plymouth – either representing us in the House of Commons or yelling alongside us at Home Park. This is a great opportunity to celebrate a remarkable man.”
Anyone who has memories of any stories about Michael they would like to share should let the project know email email@example.com.
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Donations to the appeal can be made by:
* Debit card donations over the phone on 01752 262243
* Online payments via our website
* By sending a cheque payable to ‘Plymouth City Council’ to Michael Foot Memorial Appeal, c/o Plymouth City Council, Civic Centre, Plymouth PL1 2AA
* Cash donations can be made using the self service payments kiosk
* Companies or organisations interested in making a donation should call Ben Higgins on 01752 305408.