Origins Of The Project

This project is a spin off  from  ‘The Lenton Abbey Statue Committee’ Chair – Prof. Peter Usherwood ; Cllr. Dave Oldham ; Bill Smith ; Keri Usherwood ; Martin Leighton ; plus several others who came and went.

As late as 2007 there was still no permanent tribute to author Alan Sillitoe’s on going career. His Phoenix like rise from his impoverished  beginnings on our Lenton Abbey Estate,Nottingham(NG92SA) to international acclaim, proving you don’t necessarily  have to come from a privileged  background  to reach your full potential.

Inspirational potential lain latent then.

And so,amazed at how few knew of his birthplace, early in 2008 I wrote to the Nottingham City Council, via one of its officers,suggesting that the literary environment  of Lenton Abbey would be greatly enhanced by honouring its most famous son, Alan of course, with a plaque or the like placed there on.

Thankfully their reply was in the affirmative and soon our committee had said plaque placed on the house where he was born. Then Prof. Peter Usherwood set up The ‘Lenton Abbey Statue Committee’ to begin funding a statue to the great man, obviously on our estate. When told of our quest at his Freedom of the City Event, by Cllr. Dave Oldham, Alan was visibly moved by our efforts – the first anywhere in Nottingham.

Sadly, a year or so later, Alan passed away, as sadly did our chances of placing his statue where he thought it would be placed, at the Gateway to the city, Lenton Abbey, where his inspirational story began. An inspirational story I hope to advance to future generations via The Phoenix Reading Project.

And so here we are and here we go, over to you….