LAST month, it was revealed Basildon millionaire businessman Dr Vijay Patel OBE has stumped up £48,000 to fund a life-size bronze statue of the late Southend West MP Sir David Amess.

The Waymade pharmaceuticals founder said he was delighted that his career enabled him to thank the “decent human being Sir David was” in this way.

Echo: Kind - Dr Vijay PatelKind - Dr Vijay Patel (Image: Dr Vijay Patel)

The statue, which has been created by sculptor Andrew Lilley, 70, could be unveiled on March 26 on what would have been Sir David’s 71st birthday.

Echo: Statue - Sir David AmessStatue - Sir David Amess (Image: Andrew Lilley)

Once on public display in the city, it will join a few other statues dedicated to important figures.

Queen Victoria statue, Clifftown Parade

Echo: Statue - Queen VictoriaStatue - Queen Victoria (Image: Newsquest)

The 20ft statue of the Queen, who reigned for 63 years and 216 days, was crafted in Rome, Italy, by artist and sculptor Joseph William Swynnerton.

He used a 19-tonne block of Carrara marble to create the masterpiece, which sees the monarch, seated on a gothic chair, holding the royal sceptre in her left hand while her right hand points to the Thames Estuary.

Mayor of Southend Bernard Wiltshire Tolhurst commissioned the statue to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897.

The statue was unveiled on May 24, 1898 – Queen Victoria’s 79th birthday – on Pier Hill where “half of Southend” turned out to watch as VIP guest Lady Rayleigh (Evelyn Georgiana Mary Balfour), the Queen’s representative, do the honours.

In 1962, it was decided she had to be moved to Clifftown Parade due to her Pier Hill spot needing to make way for a £2,500 footbridge development.

Echo: Hoist - the marble monarch is winched into the air Hoist - the marble monarch is winched into the air (Image: Newsquest)

However, many residents felt the royal statue should have been placed in the more appropriate location, Victoria Circus because of its name and considered to be a central hub of the community.

R A Jones, Priory Park

Echo: Statue - R A JonesStatue - R A Jones (Image: Newsquest)

The 32inch-tall statue of the famed Southend jeweller and philanthropist was created by leading Westcliff artist Dave Taylor.

R A Jones, who lived from 1849 to 1925, was well-known for running his eponymous jewellers in the city’s High Street.

He gave Priory Park and Jones memorial ground to the then town, which resulted in a memorial statue being a fitting tribute.

The painted fibreglass and concrete instillation stood in Priory Park, in Victoria Avenue, for one week and five days in April after it had been battered with a brick in a “systematic and deliberate” act of vandalism.

Echo: Damaged - the statue back in April Damaged - the statue back in April (Image: Dave Taylor)

However, four months later, the stunning statue had been returned to its former glory and is now in possession of the council in-readiness for it to be re-installed at a date that is yet to be confirmed.

Echo: Repaired - R A Jones Priory Park statueRepaired - R A Jones Priory Park statue (Image: Dave Taylor)

Eric Cole, Ekco Park housing estate

Echo: Statue - Eric ColeStatue - Eric Cole (Image: Public)

The 400kg and 2.8m tall mosaic and bronze sculpture of Eric Cole standing on an AD65 Ekco radio was installed in 2020 opposite Priory Park, in Victoria Avenue.

Eric Cole, founder of the Ekco factory, took great pride in his employees and was a pioneer in paid holidays and workplace pensions.

The firm began  as a radio manufacturing firm in 1922 but rapidly grew to an international brand, manufacturing electronics and gadgets.

His head, hands and shoes are cold-cast bronze, while his suit is made from a mosaic of porcelain tiles fired with photographic transfers.

The Corten steel radio reflects the shape and colour of the early Bakelite radios and forms a plinth.

It was created by Anne Schwegmann-Fielding, who is an internationally renowned British sculptor and mosaic artist based in Colchester.

She used original photographs and united the community together, working closely with Eric’s relatives and Ekco former employees and the author of the Ekco Sounds book.