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Banbury WW2 Sculpture Unveiled at Castle Quay

We’re proud to announce the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind sculpture in Castle Quay to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Alcan factory bombing during World War II. The centre’s longstanding tenants, Tooley’s Boatyard, created the incredible piece, which is an aerial view of Banbury and depicts the bombing that took place in the early hours of 7th September 1940. 

It is understood that the lock was badly damaged by a 500lb bomb, however the lock gates were not destroyed and prevented the town from being flooded. Luckily nobody was killed as a result of the bombing and the only injury was to Mrs Malloy’s cockerel who lost his feathers but fortunately was well enough for visitors to go and see him for a small donation to raise money for spitfires. To this day the lock still bears the date 1940 from when it was repaired after the attack. 

The sculpture has been made from scraps of metal and some pieces donated by McLaren, the developer building the new Castle Quay Waterfront development. The piece, created by blacksmiths Jamie Simmons & Graham Symons at Tooley’s Boatyard, features a German bomber flying off after its strafing run, and then being chased by a Spitfire – all set over the aerial view of a 1940s Banbury. The sculpture was based on several photographs of the town in the 1940s (shown below), with one of the photos showing the damage caused by one of the bombs. 

Cllr Kieran Mallon and representatives of the British Legion, McLaren, Lock29 and Castle Quay were present on Saturday 5th September 2020 for the unveiling of the sculpture. 

The sculpture can be viewed by everyone and is located just behind the Customer Service Desk opposite the newly opened Lock29. People are encouraged to go and see it for themselves and take a photo or two to capture this moment of Banbury’s history.