Redrow has reunited Holly Lodge Girls College with part of its history after rescuing and restoring a much-loved statue.
The well-known piece of a man and woman cradling children, entitled Hope, had been forgotten and lost when pupils from the West Derby school were relocated to brand new purpose-built premises in 2015 and land from their former premises was sold for development.
But after an appeal by the college estates manager, Mark McHugh, to builders Redrow, Hope has been restored. The popular sandstone statue has been found and returned Holly Lodge, to take pride of place within the entrance of its new building.
“And we are thrilled,” said local-born Mark, who has worked at the college for 18 years. “The statue is a part of the school, part of its history, and we really didn’t want to lose it.
“It represents hope and is a symbol of such so it seemed wrong not to have it as we moved forward in the new building. When I realised it hadn’t moved with us from its home in the Orchard of Hope, I contacted Redrow and asked if it could be located so we could get it back.”
Redrow site manager Steve Daw, who is working to create family homes at the new Regency Manor development on former school site, recovered Hope so he could hand it back to its rightful owners.
“We are indebted to Steve,” says Mark. “All credit to him because he went above and beyond. Once I had contacted him he not only found it and made sure it was kept safe, but as soon as he could get to it he cleaned it up himself and arranged for it to be delivered back to us.”
Geographer teacher Ken Teasdale revealed Hope was originally installed at Holly Lodge in 1994, the UN Year of the Family.
“The sculpture was created by Jean Parker and the premise behind it is of the family as the basic unit of society, and making sure it is protected and kept safe, whether that’s the immediate family or the extended one of grandparents, etc. The idea was that the school is very much a part of that family, nurturing and supporting it,” said Ken.
“The statue is part of the fabric of the school. Ex-pupils who had come back to see our new building had all asked where it was so it is right that it is now back, and is the first thing people see as they come through into the school.”
Hope has now been mounted on a new plinth and placed within the entrance to the new building immediately beyond the reception area.
Added Mark: “It’s lovely to see it back and what a great link with Redrow. The statue shows that hope comes from the family and Redrow creates homes for the family – that seems apt – thank you Redrow.”