Wilkes statue plans sent to USA for help

Former 18th century Aylesbury MP John Wilkes
Former 18th century Aylesbury MP John Wilkes

Fresh ideas are being sought to help bring a statue of a radical 18th century Aylesbury MP to the town.

Bruce Lewington, 70, first raised the idea of recognising John Wilkes at an Aylesbury Society meeting and has now sent copies of The Bucks Herald’s latest articles to Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he is held in high regard.

Mr Lewington said: “I sent a copy last week and am awaiting their reply to see if they will offer support.”

Wilkes championed freedom of speech and lived at Prebendal House while serving as Aylesbury’s MP between 1754 and 1761.

Meanwhile, Graham Aylett, a committee member of Aylesbury Old Town Residents’ Association, has called on other groups to start supporting the campaign for the statue, which is likely to cost £100,000.

He said: “At our residents’ association meeting I’m going to encourage them to think constructively about what we can do.

“With the Aylesbury Society what more could be done is a sub-committee could be selected for fundraising ideas to help get a statue commissioned and erected.”