Friday, 14 March 2014

One Eagle Place, Piccadilly W1

Sir Simon Milton was the politician's politician, the guy who cleared up the mess at Westminster City Council and transformed Boris Johnson's big ideas into practical plans. Unusually for a Thatcherite, he seems to have been universally admired and loved.
He died in 2011, tragically young, after a long battle with leukemia and is commemorated by this bust on the building he used to live in, now redeveloped behind the original facade.
The sculptor is Alan Micklethwaite, who tells me that he had considerable difficulty getting his subject's profile. He never met him in life, and nobody takes casual photos in profile, so Micklethwaite had to be creative to get the effect he wanted.
The background is filled with buildings Sir Simon knew. Over his right shoulder is the Gate of Honour at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, through which he passed to collect his degree. Behind that is the old Westminster City Hall. Over his left shoulder is the new City Hall, BoJo Central.
A charming touch is the slice of cake and chocolate eclair on his desk, reminders of his first job in the family firm, the Sharaton chain of patisseries.

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