Residents in Wakefield are being asked to help uncover a mystery. Michael McCarthy, curator of the museum run by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, is appealing to all budding detectives or historians for help to reveal the story behind a statue.
The statue arrived on the museum’s doorstep unannounced in June, It was originally removed from the old Stanley Royd Hospital but then tracked down and kindly donated back to the Trust and to the museum by Taylor Woodrow, the company in charge of re-developing the Stanley Royd site.
After writing to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Michael established that the statue dated back to the mid 19th Century, depicts the Roman Goddess Flora and is made of terracotta.
Michael is currently lovingly restoring the statue back to its former state, removing many years worth of paint by hand and will be proudly displaying it amongst the other artefacts from Stanley Royd in the museum in the near future.
Michael said ‘I’d love to find to find out some more information about the statue, so far it’s proving to be quite a mystery. The first written record of the statue I can find dates back to 1929 when it was relocated from another part of the Stanley Royd site but I’m certain the statue was around long before then. I’d be grateful for any help in establishing it’s history, for example I’d love to know if anybody has any idea of how the statue came to be at Stanley Royd, one theory is that it was donated.
‘The statue holds many fond memories for all those who used to be employed at Stanley Royd. I’m so glad to have it back and to be able to exhibit it for all to see so many more people can get enjoyment out of it.’
If you have any information about the statue that will help Michael please contact the Trust’s public relations department on 01924 327055.