Published: 10 May, 2013
PADDINGTON Bear creator Michael Bond unveiled a statue of himself next to a new cycle route in Paddington.
The 87-year-old author visited St Mary’s Terrace on Saturday to launch the new route and the life-size metal artwork of himself with his famous bear.
The likeness of Mr Bond sits alongside one of Alan Turing and Mary Seacole who were voted for by residents from a list of high-profile local characters.
Olympic gold-medallist and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins – who grew up in Maida Vale - featured on the shortlist but did not secure enough votes for his achievements finally to be recognised in Westminster.
Labour councillors moved to give Sir Bradley the freedom of the city at a full meeting of the council in January but the motion was amended by Conservative councillors so that the council would instead “enter into dialogue with Sir Bradley to agree with him the most appropriate way of recognising those achievements and his association with Westminster”.
Also on the list had been Sir Alexander Fleming, Rosalind Franklin, Margery Allingham and Nancy Mitford.
Cllr Ed Argar (pictured above with Mr Bond) said of the project, which was funded by Sustrans and the council: “This new route is a small sign of things to come… Our cycling strategy will be ready for consultation shortly and is set to make a real difference for cycling in the city.
“This new route is a real improvement – It helps to reconnect communities either side of the Westway.
And, of course, it was a real pleasure and privilege to open this route with Michael Bond, someone whose books have brought pleasure to millions, who helped to put Paddington on the international map...”