A little rabbit has gone a long way towards helping schoolchildren in Fleetwood learn about the history of their town – and it’s all down to a competition to name the little fellow.
The bunny in question is not a real animal but part of the impressive bronze statue of the town’s founder, Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, sited in the town’s Euston Gardens.
When the £40,000 statue was first unveiled in May this year, residents were delighted to see the figure of the creature at his feet – a clever nod by sculptor Alan Ward to the town’s origins as a desolate windswept wasteland dotted with rabbit warrens.
Youngsters were particularly interested in the bronze rabbit, and so a plan was put into action by the Statue Committee to invite schools to name him.
The eventual winner was seven year old Thomas Williams, from the town’s Charles Saer School.
He named him Burton after the famous architect who helped Sir Peter make his new town dream a reality, Decimus Burton.
The youngster was presented with his prize, £25 and a ceramic rabbit, in a ceremony at the Euston Gardens.
His name was drawn out of a hat, along with the winners from each of the other Fleetwood primary school.
William Hargreaves, chairman of the Statue Committee, said: “We hoped the competition would provide extra interest for the children to know about Sir Peter Hesketh, the founder of the town, and the architect Decimus Burton.
“But what became clear is that some of the children already knew their stuff – the names they came up with show that. Hopefully this will encourage the children to look after the statue.”