Local heroes: your winners 


Martin wood bench


As part of Shrewsbury's Connect2 walking and cycling project, a new portrait bench was installed on Smithfield Road in Shrewsbury in June 2013.


Following a public vote online on the Shropshire Star website, in Shrewsbury libraries and in primary schools in November 2012, Shrewsbury's three favourite local heroes were chosen. Lifesize sculptures of the heroes were installed around Shrewsbury's new portrait bench.


And the winners are....


the winners


Chosen by the public vote:

  • Wilfred Owen
  • Sabrina


Chosen by vote in Shrewsbury primary schools:

  • Martin Wood


Portrait bench unveilingWhat happened next?


The figures were manufactured from steel by Sustrans.

Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council agreed a location on Smithfield Road near the boxing gym, and the figures were installed in June 2013. 


They were officially unveiled on 25 June 2013. Attendees included Martin Wood, Mayor Jon Tandy, Sustrans's Henry Harbord and pupils from Mount Pleasant and Martin Wilson Primary Schools.


See photos from the unveiling on our Facebook page.


Read the press release about the bench installation.


How were the figures chosen?

Shrewsbury's Connect2 project group nominated a shortlist of nine people to choose from. The public was asked to vote for one man and one woman, and a third person was chosen by pupils at primary schools in Shrewsbury.


Each local hero was championed by a member of the project group, follow the links to read why.


The men:


The women:


What is a portrait bench?


The portrait bench is a simple bench with three life-size characters chosen by the community for the contribution they have made to local life, culture or history. The figures are 2 dimensional and made of steel.


Connect2 is a national project, co-ordinated by Sustrans and funded by Big Lottery. It consists of over 70 walking and cycling projects across the UK. Each project will feature a portrait bench.

For more information visit the Sustrans website.


Photos on this page

1. The bench portrait of Martin Wood


2. The winners: Wilfred Owen, Sabrina and Martin Wood.


3. Martin Wood, Mayor Jon Tandy and pupils from Mount Pleasant and Martin Wilson Primary Schools celebrate Shrewsbury's bench unveiling.


4. The photo shows the very first portrait bench near Port Talbot which featured Richard Burton, Rob Brydon and local man Dick Wagstaff. Photo copyright Chandra Prasad/Sustrans.