Campaign to have statue of popular cat erected

Solomon the cat

Solomon the cat

A campaign has been launched to have a statue built - for a cat!

Solomon was regularly seen walking around the Leigh town centre and counted the library, various schools, Leigh Parish Church and supermarkets as regular haunts.

Pictures of the moggy were regularly posted on Facebook and his owners even set up a page of his own on the social media site, boasting 500 friends.

And when he died suddenly last week, many of those friends decided there should be a permanent tribute to Solomon.

Businessman Lee McStein was among those who was regularly visited by Solomon on his rounds.

And he believes the public mood warrants the erection of a statue, which he is volunteering to commission.

Lee Robert McStein, from Monument Men, holds a photo of Solomon

Lee Robert McStein, from Monument Men, holds a photo of Solomon

“Solomon was a local character. It sounds absolutely ludicrous that somebody would want to do this for a cat, but everyone saw him,” said Mr McStein.

“There was a little buzz about him. He was a very friendly, roaming cat.

“I don’t think there was a single person who didn’t see him and want to stroke him. He made a lot of people’s days.”

Mr McStein’s business involves scanning objects or people to create 3D models and he has done work at Manchester Cathedral and in Egypt.

I don’t think there was a single person who didn’t see him and want to stroke him. He made a lot of people’s days

Lee McStein

He planned to do scans while Solomon was sleeping at one of his favourite haunts, but now he will hold an online poll for people to choose between generic cat statues.

Mr McStein, 31, wants to put the statue on a plinth and have a plaque with a laser-engraved picture of Solomon.

He hopes the statue can be sited at one of the places Solomon regularly visited and he will speak to representatives of the church today to discuss it.

Mr McStein wants it to be in place in coming months, hopefully before a pet memorial service being held at the church in October.

He will provide updates on the Old Leigh Photographs Facebook group, where the idea has already had plenty of support.

Mr McStein said he was not surprised by the response to his plan for the memorial.

He said: “It’s nice to see people coming together and getting involved with an idea as a way of honouring the memory of a little local celebrity.”

Mr McStein plans to do the work for the statue himself, but he is looking for donations of a large stone to use as a plinth and metal such as bronze for the statue.

If any money is needed, he intends to set up a crowd funding page online so supporters can make donations.

Mr McStein wants to hear from anyone who can donate the stone, submit a photograph for the plaque or get involved in the project in another way.

To contact him, email monumentmen.initial@gmail.com

There are currently two other borough-based statue campaigns. In Wigan, £80,000 has been raised to buy for a statue of Wigan rugby league legend Billy Boston. A similar campaign is underway in Leigh for John Woods.