Kent’s Iron Lady is a brushstroke of genius

Alan Cosby with the new statue at Kent Brushes
Alan Cosby with the new statue at Kent Brushes

A new statue erected outside one of Hemel Hempstead’s oldest businesses has created a new landmark in the area.

Kent Brushes, which has had a factory in Apsley’s London Road for more than a century, has specially commissioned an eye-catching sculpture after falling in love with a similar structure at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

The Kent Lady, who is made of metal and is depicted brushing her hair, appeared outside the iconic building over the weekend after being created by sculptor and landscape gardener John Everiss.

Kent’s chairman and managing director Alan Cosby spotted the original creation during TV coverage of the annual flower show and asked for a bespoke version.

He said: “We always had a landmark when the factory was originally constructed back in 1901. Back then it was a 200ft chimney with Kent Brushes in large white letters fixed down the side. Since building our new factory 30 years ago we lost our landmark, so I thought it was about time we repositioned our identity in Apsley.

“I am very proud and excited that our Lady has been so well accepted and admired. This is our new landmark which hopefully will also make people aware we are still manufacturing the world’s finest brushes, now in our 237th year.”