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Public sign up to sponsor leaves on Dorking Olympic cyclists sculpture

Nearly 100 of 300 available leaves now sponsored

Nearly 100 people have so far signed up to sponsor leaves that make up a scuplture of two cyclists being erected in Dorking to commemorate the Olympic road races that will pass through the Surrey town this July.

As we reported earlier this year the sculpture, designed by artist Heather Burrell, was selected by Mole Valley District Council in July and received planning permission earlier this month. To help finance the £20,000 cost, members of the public have been invited to sponsor the 300 metal leaves that go to make up the sculpture at a cost of £40 each.

So far, 90 people have signed up to have sponsor the leaves on the sculpture, which will be installed during July at the A24 Pixham Lane roundabout close to Denbies Wine Estate.

According to the Leatherhead Advertiser, one local cyclist, Barbara West from Fetcham, asked her family to buy her a leaf for her 75th birthday. Mrs West was a spectator at the 1948 Olympics, and still owns a Claud Butler bicycle that she bought in 1955.

"When they said about the statue I thought it was a lovely idea," she explained. "We haven't really got anything like it in that area and it is quite a thing to have the race coming through."

Marion Curnow, who grew up in the area but now lives in Cornwall, has also signed up to sponsor a leaf. "I intend to move back to Dorking at some point because it is where my roots are," revealed the 63-year-old.

"Every morning and night I used to cycle from Dorking to Leatherhead and back. It is a very special, nostalgic place for me.”

She added that when she heard about the project, "I just thought I had to grab it, I just had to be part of it. It will be fantastic. I was even thinking I might come back up if there is some sort of ceremony."

Everyone sponsoring the statue will be given a certificate as well as a small steel leaf that has their name engraved upon it, added the newspaper.

Caroline Salmon, who is organising the project, commented: "It's coming along really nicely. There are quite a lot of leaves being bought for people who were into cycling but have passed away, so it's becoming a kind of memento. It has really been picked up by the community," she added.

An earlier sculpture by Burrell, Leaf Cyclist, stands in Rotherhithe, South East London on the route that Stage 1 of the Tour de France took in 2007 on its way to Canterbury.

You can find out more information about sponsoring a leaf on the Dorking statue by calling 01306 743403.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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