17 November 2015

A walk along Kings Road (part 3) – A convoluted statue and Wright's Dairy

This continues on from here

Has anyone ever really taken a good look at that bizarre bit of street sculpture outside French Connection on the corner of Markham Square in Kings Road? I looked for an info plaque when I was there but couldn't find anything. 
This is what I see: A woman sitting back on one foot with one knee raised, with some kind of fish-shaped thing on her lap and a strange inverted L-shaped instrument over her right shoulder. Hmmm... let's think... is she playing a cello or some kind of musical instrument? 
I am stumped.  

I tried for 40 minutes to find some information about it, searching online using words such as sculpture, street art, public, French Connection, Kings Road, bronze, woman, kneeling, Markham Square, etc., and I have come up with nothing. If I knew the artist it might help. Other people are also intrigued.
UPDATE: I asked for ideas and thanks to some feedback in the comments section below I now know it to be 'Bronze man and Eagle' by Richard Bently Claughton, commissioned by Barclays Bank and unveiled in April 1966.

Diagonally opposite is the old Wright's Dairy building with its magnificent terracotta cow's head on the angled third floor corner. Archive pics* show that the Wrights were "cow keepers and dairy farmers" and "Acknowledged to be the Finest Dairy in the District". Nothing like a bit of self promo eh; they may well have been the only dairy in the area!
Old Church Street, Google Streetview, 20th July 2015.
Note also the painted tiles with rural depictions
But I think these pics show their extensive premises further west, in what is now Old Church Street where a subsequent owner used to keep 50 cows. The same cow's head can be seen on the front of the building (see pic right) and there is another one on the front of another building that faces the end of the alley where the red car is parked.
So, back to the building at the Sloane Street end of Kings Road shown in the pics above... having just spent the a further fruitless 25 minutes on this second research mission, I am again stumped. Without access to archive business listings for the street, and/or until someone tells me otherwise, I am going to make an educated guess and say that it was a shop selling the milk and dairy products that were produced at Wright's farm a mile way to the west in [Old] Church Street.
What do you think?
All feedback welcome.

*Credt archive pics: Exciting Postcards 


  1. Saw this artwork last night and had the same thought and achieved the same fruitless online and on-street search for info. Have you had any luck since posting this article? I'm no sculpture expert but it's a confident piece, looks like it's by someone of note? Would love to know. Such a shame it's been hidden away in such a careless manner.

  2. Hello Unknown.
    I must admit I have not looked into it any further since writing this. I rather hoped that someone reading this might have contacted me by now and saved me any more hard work!
    I will put more feelers out and as soon as I find out anything I will post it here.

  3. The sculptor on the corner of Kings road/Markham square is called Bronze man and Eagle, by Richard Bentley Claughton. unveiled in April 1966 when the redeveloped Barclays bank reopened. It was commissioned by the Barclays bank manager at the time

  4. Dear Neil – thank you so much for this info. And apologies for the ridiculously slow response but I hadn't been getting alerts re comments on here.
    I have now included this info into the body of the main post. Thanks again


Please note that comments are vetted by me personally to check for relevant content before they are published, so don't panic when your feedback isn't immediately visible.
If you write anything perceived to be an ad, spam or self promotion, your comment will be deleted and/or marked as spam/blocked.
Thanks, Jane