Sculpture of bobbin is returned to its Preston home after four years

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A sculpture to mark a piece of Preston’s heritage has been returned, four years after it was removed.

The needle and thread statue, on the corner of Avenham Lane and Avenham Road, was put in place to reflect the history of Avenham and its famous gold thread factory.

A stone bobbin and needle  has returned to Avenham Lane in Preston, following a four year absence

A stone bobbin and needle has returned to Avenham Lane in Preston, following a four year absence

But the cotton bobbin section of the artwork was damaged when a car smashed into it in 2011, and it was taken away to be repaired.

It had been hoped to return in time for the Guild, but delays meant it was not put back until this year.

But the statue is now back in place, and community leaders have welcomed the move.

Coun Drew Gale, who represents the town centre ward, said: “I am exceptionally pleased it’s back.

“It’s a wonderful nod to the industrial heritage of the area.”

A spokesman for Preston Council said: “Avenham has a proud history and tradition with the cotton industry and cloth making and this was a popular piece of public art that was installed as part of the regeneration of this area of Preston.

“This cotton bobbin was unfortunately damaged by a car but, thanks to the support of Lancashire County Council, we have been able to bring this back to be enjoyed by the public.”

Part of the sculpture was taken away at the time of the crash to the council depot on St Paul’s Road, Deepdale.

The public artwork commemorates the former Simpsons Gold Thread Works which produced gold and silver wire embroidery for the military, royal livery, cruise ship companies and the Freemasons.

The factory’s products included thread that decorated the uniforms of staff on board the doomed Titanic, and during the war the firm undertook a top secret commission to produce German military badges and insignia for use by English spies in Germany.

The sculpture was created to mark the firm’s place in the city’s history and was designed by public artist Van Nong and local residents.

It was erected as part of a £210,000 environmental enhancement scheme for Avenham Road.