Leamington’s most colourful and probably its oldest piece of public sculpture isn’t easy to spot, and most visitors and many residents are unaware of its existence. The brightly painted stone model of two 18th century firemen with their manual fire engine can be seen above the front door of estate agents R A Bennett & Partners in Euston Place (behind the town war memorial).
The sculpted group formed the trademark of the Birmingham Fire Office established in 1805, and the figures were originally positioned on a ledge on the front of the former Locke & England offices at 166 Parade on the opposite side of the street. The sculpture was recently refurbished and repainted and while the work was being done, I was fortunate to take a closer look at it from a ladder and to have a chat with the restorers. Fittingly, one of the men told me that he himself had once been a fireman and coincidentally, so was I.