The Portrait Benches project commemorates local heroes nominated by their communities by immortalising them as life-sized steel figures. You'll find them on National Cycle Network routes across the UK. This latest iteration of the project is in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
Portrait Bench figures can be found on National Cycle Network routes all across the UK.
As part of the Portrait Benches project, we're celebrating Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, and Jane Sixsmith MBE.
Route 5 of the National Cycle Network travels through Birmingham and alongside the mainline canal all the way to Wolverhampton.
This 13-mile green corridor is a scenic walking and cycling route away from busy roads.
National Route 5 also runs south-east and through the city centre.
Take this direction to reach the Rea Valley Route, a mostly traffic-free path passing some of Birmingham’s finest parks and along the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham canal.
Celebrating Birmingham's local heroes
Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Sir Lenny Henry CBE is an actor, comedian, singer, presenter and writer from Dudley.
He has received popular and critical admiration for comedic and dramatic roles on both stage and screen.
In 1985 he co-founded the charity Comic Relief and in 2015 was knighted for services to drama and charity.
Ellie Simmonds OBE is a British former Paralympian swimmer.
She competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing at the age of 13, winning two gold medals.
Ellie won further gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 games, setting a world record in the 400m freestyle in London and a 200m medley world record in Rio.
Jane Sixsmith MBE is the first British female hockey player to compete in four Olympics.
She retired from international hockey after scoring over 100 goals and winning 165 caps for England and 158 for Great Britain.
Her honours include an MBE, an Olympic bronze (1992), a European Cup gold (1991) and a Commonwealth silver medal (1998).