Sponsored Walk in Memory of Bendigo

On Sunday 29th April 2018, a group of supporters will walk the route of Bendigo’s funeral cortege in 1880.

This will be from his home at Wollaton Road in Beeston to his grave at Bath Street in the City Centre, a distance of 5.7 miles. The walk will take approximately 2 hours and will be limited to twenty one people representing his 21 fights.

The group will meet at the Bendigo Lounge  on the High Road, where the general manager has kindly invited them in for refreshments before they set off

The walk will officially start from the site of his cottage at 1100hrs and take Wollaton Road to Bramcote Hills, then Derby Road into the city centre via Lenton Abbey, Dunkirk, Lenton, and Canning Circus. The final route will be through The Old Market Square and on to St Mary Rest Garden on Bath Street. They will gather at the graveside where the moment will be commemorated with a reading about the funeral taken from the novel of his life Bendigo – The Right Fist of God.

All are welcome to join the group at St Mary’s Rest Garden from around 1300hrs.

Bendigo’s Grave at St Marys Rest Garden

Each of the walkers will raise individual sponsorship. Anyone wishing to donate directly to the fund can do so via the link on our website.

Andrew Edwards, the renowned sculptor who created a maquette of Bendigo is unable to do the walk, as he is in New York that weekend. He sent this reply:

A gallery in Manhattan is promising to show my scale model of my new Beatles statues so I can’t refuse being there – I’d rather be in Nottingham though, honestly. In fact if I could pick any job to be working on now anywhere in the world, it would be Bendigo’s statue.

Andrew Edwards presents the maquette to Trustee Alan Dawson.

Bendigo Memorial Fund is now 18 months old and we are making good progress and lots of friends around the world. Closer to home, Nottingham City Council have approved Trinity Square as the location for Bendigo’s statue.

The Bendigo story centres on this location. Not only was he born here but many significant events in his life happened within a few yards of Trinity Square. Sadly, most of the buildings are gone, several being demolished and redeveloped in the last 60 years.

This makes us more determined to put things right and make the location a permanent reminder to Bendigo.

Trinity Square has always been a popular location for visitors to Nottingham.

In the 19th century it was home to The Mechanics Hall and the Holy Trinity Church. The Mechanics’ Institution was a national movement for artisans, or mechanics, as they were then called. Many of these artisans were illiterate, and the founder wanted to provide them with a means of improving their knowledge by classes and lectures, by good libraries, music, drama and readings, and by social contacts with a good cross-section of the better-educated section of the community. The original Mechanics Institute stood at the junction of Milton Street, Burton Street and Trinity Square, opposite the Victoria Hotel next to the Railway Station. The Mechanics Institute comprised of a large hall (33m long, 18m wide and 12m high) and a members refreshment room. The hall later became a cinema and was called Mechanics Pictures.

Holy Trinity Church was designed by Henry Isaac Stevens and built in 1841. It was an example of Victorian High Gothic architecture and for many years it had a tall spire which was eventually removed.

In 1953, the council proposed to demolish Holy Trinity Church. The locals were incensed and 16000 people signed a petition against the proposal, however demolition went ahead in 1957.

In 1964 the Mechanics’ Institution decided to redevelop the building on the same site. The stone façade of the 1845 building was exported to the United States of America by an American, who erected as his Californian hunting lodge.

Trinity Square was redeveloped in the 1960s, when multi storey car parks and offices replaced the iconic buildings. These dark and austere looking buildings barely lasted 50 years.

Trinity Square was transformed into a public space again in 2009, with further improvements being made to the seating areas. It now compliments the leisure and retail at The Cornerhouse, which replaced the Nottingham Evening Post offices after they relocated in 1998.

Despite all the recent developments, there are still a few smaller and older buildings, most on the narrow lanes of Trinity Walk and that lead down towards the Old Market Square

Trinity Square remains a well-known part of Nottingham City Centre. All it needs now is a figurehead, and the return of William ‘Bendigo Thompson.

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