Local hero Billy Bragg unveils sculptures

Billy Bragg stands next to a sculpture of himself

Billy Bragg inspects a statue of himself at the official opening of the bridge.

Children in high-vis on bikes

Local school pupils at the opening in the Beam Valley Country Park.

Family next to a sculpture of a soldier

The Fisher Family with the statue to commemorate husband and father Ian Fisher.

Children cycling over a bridge

The bridge which connects Havering with Barking and Dagenham is now officially open.

22 October 2015

Sculptures of local heroes were unveiled on 20 October to celebrate completion of a new walking and cycling path in east London.

We constructed the bridge earlier this year with funding from Transport for London (TfL) from its Greenways programme, which supports walking and cycling routes. The bridge joins up Route 136 and provides a convenient place to cross the river Beam.

Celebrating local heroes.

There are three new sculptures representing local characters, which were chosen by the community.

 It’s important for everyone to have easy access to clean, green open space in the capital. 

-  Matthew Pencharz, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy

One of the sculptures is of world-renowned folk musician and songsmith, Billy Bragg, who was there in person to unveil the sculpture in his image.

A figure also represents women of the historic 1968 Ford sewing machinists’ strike in Dagenham - which led to the Equal Pay Act - and was unveiled by former Ford sewing machinists, Vera Sime and Eileen Pullen.

Widow Emma Fisher and her sons William and James unveiled a figure to commemorate husband, father and Elm Park solider, WO2 Ian Fisher, 3rd Mercian Regiment, who gave his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2013.

The bridge makes travelling between the local communities easier.

Sustrans Delivery Manager, Bryn Lockwood, said:

“We know that people want to cycle more but are often put off by busy roads, so paths like this are vital to encourage more people to get on their bikes or walk to see family, go to the shops, get to work or simply to enjoy the outdoors.”

Paths connecting to the bridge from Dagenham and through to the Ingrebourne Valley Way have been improved with further support from the Mayor of London’s Big Green Fund.

Matthew Pencharz, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said:

“The Big Green Fund does fantastic work to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of local people by sprucing up and creating more green spaces in urban areas.

“It’s important for everyone to have easy access to clean, green open space in the capital and I am thrilled that this scheme, which links Havering with Barking and Dagenham will deliver great environmental benefits and help communities connect.”

The bridge and supporting paths will make it easier for people to travel on foot and bike between the neighbouring communities.

Read more about the creation of this path.

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