February 17 - ###UPDATE!###
Due to the generous donations from the people of south Bucks via cheque and cash dropped into our office, we have now raised around £9,500 including the pledges through Just Giving. Thank you!
But we still have a way to go to ensure the Red Lion is preserved for future generations, so please, give what you can.
High Wycombe's once-proud Red Lion - with a rich history dating back more than 200 years - is now a pitiful sight.
Rotten, peeling and faded, it needs our help.
The Bucks Free Press and the High Wycombe Society are teaming up with master craftsmen including the statue's creators the Frank Hudson company to restore the carving to its former glory and secure the lion's future for generations to come.
Despite extensive investigations and research, it has not been possible to establish who owns or is responsible for the Red Lion, and so we have stepped in to prevent it being lost forever.
We have already taken the statue down, and we need help to fund not only its repair, but also enough to cover a proper 10-year maintenance programme.
The Red Lion's history is long and proud: a previous incarnation saw a young Benjamin Disraeli gave an impassioned speech to townsfolk with the lion at his side, and 100 years later, none other than Winston Churchill clambered onto the portico at the very spot where the Red Lion stands today to address a crowd of thousands in a rousing post-war speech.
Help us to save this magnificent beast, and give whatever you can so we are able to say to our children and grandchildren - 'we did this, and we did it for Wycombe'.
* Money donated will be held by the High Wycombe Society, registered charity number 257897
*The figure of £11,000 is an estimate given by Wycombe master carver Colin Mantripp, which includes a full restoration and a regular programme of maintenance over a 10-year period.
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