Statues in Geoffrey Jellicoe’s famous Water Gardens are getting a scrub up as part of the area’s £3.6 million restoration work.
Workers painstakingly removed the ‘Rock’n’Roll’ statue – two children playing in the water – from the stretch of the gardens next to Waterhouse Street and carted it off on the back of a lorry, which was spotted by locals on the M1 motorway.
To allay ‘kidnap’ fears, Dacorum Borough Council issued a statement on Facebook, saying: “Just to reassure everyone that no ransom will be required: we’ve removed them carefully so that they can be repaired and cleaned before being returned to their original location.
“They’ll be back twirling on the surface of the water soon.”
The statue ‘Kangaroo, Joey and Platypus’ has already had a makeover and is waiting to be returned to the newly restored island.
Another favourite, ‘Discobolus’ the discus thrower, has also scrubbed up well and will soon be moving to his new home at The Bury, overlooking Gadebridge Park.
The Tree of Life artwork at the junction of Bridge Street and Marlowes has also been temporarily uprooted for cleaning, repainting and renovation.
The 6.1m high steel structure was designed by Peter Parkinson and sculpted by Richard Quinnell.
Each leaf represents a different aspect of the town’s past and present, including the canal, the Magic Roundabout and the borough’s heraldic symbol.
DBC spokesman Luisa Clarke said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the Tree of Life back in a couple of months, providing the finishing touch to our regeneration of the main shopping area.
“It just shows the level of detail that has gone into our Hemel Evolution transformation of the town centre.”