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The Horndean Goddess Nike

The war memorial in Horndean is recognised by everyone within the area, but something felt just a bit out of proportion with a lamp at the top of a large stone base in the centre of the village green. The base is large, and suggests something magnificent was once displayed, but the small lamp is obscure and tiny in context.

The original monument was dedicated on July 21, 1920 and was unveiled by Lady Drury-Lowe. The statue displayed the ‘Goddess Of Victory’ which stood 2 metres tall. In 1964 a car accident occurred and the statue was damaged beyond repair. At the time there was no option other than to take the Goddess down and replace her with a more modest and affordable symbol of a lamp.

Since the War Memorial was originally erected 1920 the names of the Second World War casualties and one from Afghanistan have been added to the memorial making a total of 115 names.

This is the War Memorial at its dedication on 21st July 1920. The money was raised through public donations in memory of those from the Parish of Horndean who did not return from the Great War (known today as the First World War).

Cllr Schillemore and Cllr Evans were responsible for the fundraising and commissioning of the project on behalf of Horndean Parish Council and they searched extensively for a company capable of producing the design and manufacture of a statue based on the original goddess. It is at this point where they found J. Rotherham, who with their extensive stone masonry and monumental expertise, were a great fit.

As part of the commission, the first stage was for J. Rotherham to produce a detailed clay model for approval by the council and villagers of Horndean. Displayed in Merchistoun Hall, the small-scale model of Nike received tributes and lots of kind comments. It was a real tribute to sculptor Jose Sarabia from J Rotherhams who crafted her from pictures between 60 and 95 years old.

With approval sealed for the model of the statue, J. Rotherham were then able to take delivery of the block of Portland stone to be used for the carving of the goddess Nike.

The clay model was scanned using 3D laser technology, re-scaled to the required size, whereupon J. Rotherham’s state-of-the-art 7 axis robot set to work to remove the bulk of the material and outline the shape of the figure.

To create the very best finish and detailing on the statue, once it was completed on the robot, it was moved in to the carving workshop, where J. Rotherham’s highly skilled sculptors, Jose Sarabia and Paul Sandilands, added the finishing details and brought the beautiful Nike to life.

On Wednesday 9th July 2014, after almost 50 year’s absence, Goddess Nike returned to Horndean’s War Memorial.

Nike was carefully craned to her new vantage point in Horndean Village Square, replacing the lamp which had been put place almost 50 years ago after the Goddess statue was damaged in a freak car accident. The re-dedication ceremony took place on Sunday 20th July 2014 in Horndean Square, attended by over 700 people.

Above: Before and after. Right: Chairman of Horndean Parish Council, Councillor Evans and Paul Sandilands, sculptor, from J.Rotherham Masonry

Adrian Buckley, Monumental Director of J. Rotherham, comments: ‘It was a real pleasure to work with Horndean Parish Council, the finished product is a real testament to the work put in by Cllr Sarah Schillemore in raising the funds to finance this project.

“From the outset the enthusiasm shown by the Parish Council was infectious and we are extremely proud that we were able to produce a statue for them that will be a long standing tribute to those in the parish who lost their lives in the Great War.’

Once again, Horndean has a spectacular focal point, with Nike’s outstretched arm pointing east to the ‘dawn of a bright new future’, and the sword inverted as a sign of peace.