Speeding Fine Sculpture
In 1899 Henry House, an inventor from the USA who had established the Liquid Fuel Company in East Cowes, was caught 'speeding' down York Avenue in his innovative vehicle by two policemen with stopwatches, who estimated his speed as 18mph. For this he received the first speeding fine on the Island, with the judge describing his driving as "furious".
Friend of East Cowes and self-taught sculptor Glyn Roberts confessed to a liking for 'quirky' subjects for his creations and found House's story interesting enough to create an amusing piece to be installed in the Town close to where the 'event' took place. His sculpture, depicting a policeman with a stopwatch and House's vehicle was then set in a stone along with an explanatory bronze plaque, ready for installation at the junction of York Avenue and New Barn Road. We had help from East Cowes Town Council towards the costs and planning permission.
During May 2011 Glyn, David Burdett and Peter Lloyd laboured to erect the stone, and on 4th June it was unveiled by incumbent High Sheriff Mrs. Susie Sheldon. [You can see some pictures of the event in the "Speeding Fine" gallery.]
Glyn was one of the founder members of the Friends and his good humour and enthusiasm were invaluable in setting up the organisation and obtaining the lottery funding for the Cemetery project. When he moved to the mainland to marry again we knew we had lost a very good Friend. The Speeding Fine sculpture seemed like a farewell gift to the town and it was with great sadness that we learnt in early 2016 that Glyn had passed away.
Glyn grew up on a hill farm in Yorkshire. After studying in London and Stockholm he worked in Paris as a co-ordinator for international voluntary work. With his Swedish first wife he helped to set up over a thousand primary schools in Ethiopia. The couple settled in England and had three sons. He set up the well-known "Tools for Self-Reliance" project which provided about 1.5 million tools for developing countries. On the death of his wife in 1994 he moved to the Isle of Wight and then to East Cowes in 2004. He gave two other creations to East Cowes: the "poetry stone" (Knot Likely) by the floating bridge and the "shell sculpture" in Columbine Road, as well as several other 'quirky' carvings around the island.