Statue to film star undergoes repairs

The Stan Laurel statue in North Shields has undergone extensive repair.

The Stan Laurel statue in North Shields has undergone extensive repair.

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A much -loved statue to one of the silver screen’s biggest names has undergone extensive repairs.

A specialist finishing and repair firm stepped in to restore the Stan Laurel statue in Laurel Park, Dockwray Square, North Shields, after years of exposure to the elements and acts of vandalism left it damaged.

Plastic Surgeon used its specialist repair skills on the statue of the much-loved comedian, who lived in the Square as a child from 1897 to 1902.

Mark Johnson, operations manager for the North East at Plastic Surgeon, said: “The statue was certainly in need of some attention, and, thanks to our specialist skills, we were called in to rectify the damage.”

Prior to the repair, the statue had a black and green colouring, which initially led the team to suspect it was made from painted fibreglass. However, upon closer inspection, it became apparent that it had originally been given a bronze finish, which would need restoring to its former glory.

A scaffold and tarpaulin was erected around the statue so that the work could be carried out undisturbed.

Mark said: “The repair was a difficult one. Not only did we have to use resin repairs to the body of the statue, we also had to use bronze powder to provide the right finish. We also wanted to keep the ongoing repairs hidden so that their effect would be all the more impressive once completed.”

The firm also restored a stone plaque of Laurel and comedy partner Hardy situated on the front of the plinth.

It had really suffered at the hands of vandals over the years.

Mark said: “The plaque alone took a full day to complete, with one of our technicians having to use screws and wiring to rebuild the brim of their hats. He did a brilliant job though and it’s really done it justice.”

“The finished repair work looks fantastic. Our team put a lot of effort into it, with it becoming more of a labour of love than a job by the end. We can take great satisfaction from the fact that the repair has worked out so well and Stan is back to his bronzed best. The finish is almost unrecognisable from when we started.”