A much-loved West Bromwich sculpture has been restored to its former glory and unveiled in a new location, where Fitzgerald Contractors Ltd have been carrying out improvement works.
It previously stood at the entrance to Duchess Parade but was removed late last year to make way for improvements to the pedestrian High Street, which Fitzgerald have been carrying out.
The sculpture was originally unveiled in October 1989 by then leader of the Sandwell Council, Councillor Ron Davis. Nearly 24 years later, current Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Keith Davies had the honour of unveiling it in its new location.
It was created by Chris Dunseath and is dedicated to John Wesley, preacher and religious reformer, who preached many times in the 18th century in West Bromwich, Wednesbury and Tipton.
His biblical teaching resulted in a revival of the Christian Church and the founding of the Methodist movement. The hand and cross is a symbolic representation of his message being accepted by the people.
Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for jobs & economy, said: “The sculpture was virtually ignored in its previous location so we’ve managed to put it in a more prominent position without moving it too far
By removing the sculpture from Duchess Parade, more space has been created for shoppers in the town centre. The pedestrian High Street is currently undergoing improvement as part of the ERDF-funded Public Realm project.
The relocation of the statue and improvement works in High Street are being carried out by civil engineering contractors Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald managing director Nick Coley said: “We’re delighted to be working with Sandwell Council in the regeneration of West Bromwich town centre.
“The relocation and refurbishment of the ‘Cross in Hand’ sculpture has been made possible through many peoples efforts and I am sure it will be a lasting and prominent feature of the town centre for many years to come.”