Design revealed for cat statue

Lee Robert McStein outside Leigh Library, which Solomon used to visit
Lee Robert McStein outside Leigh Library, which Solomon used to visit

The results are in from a vote to choose a statue in memory of a popular cat.

Four designs were included in online polls, including on the Observer’s website, so people could have their say on the memorial to cat Solomon.

The winning design

The winning design

They showed a cat in a variety of positions, including sleeping and stretching.

An image of a cat in a stretching pose has proved to be the most popular and will be used to create a statue in Leigh.

Lee Robert McStein, who had the idea to commemorate Solomon, said: “The one that seems to have been the absolutely runaway favourite was the stretching pose so that’s the one we will be using.”

Work is now taking place to look at how the statue of Solomon could be created.

“The one that seems to have been the absolutely runaway favourite was the stretching pose so that’s the one we will be using.”

Lee Robert McStein

Mr McStein said: “It will be printed in either plastic or resin and we will take a mould from that and cast it from there.

“We are not too far from having something finished. I imagine it will be ready at the end of September.”

Mr McStein, co-owner of 3D model making business Monument Men, has been working on plans to create a memorial since Solomon died in May.

He described Solomon as a “little local celebrity” and a “very friendly, roaming cat”.

The cat became well-known in the town centre and was a regular visitor to several buildings, including Leigh Parish Church, the Turnpike Centre, Asda and Leigh CE Infant School.

Photographs of Solomon were posted on social media by people who spotted him and he even had his own Facebook page with more than 500 friends.

After seeing the interest in Solomon, Mr McStein decided that a permanent statue in Leigh would be a fitting tribute.

A location for the memorial has not yet been confirmed, but Mr McStein hopes it will be at one of the places Solomon liked to visit.

He would like that to be Leigh Parish Church, but its listed status means it is a more complicated process.

Mr McStein said: “We haven’t established the location yet.

“What will happen is we will have the statue put on a temporary plinth which can go on display in one of the locations.

“Initially that will be within a building and locked up overnight until we find a permanent location.”

Following months of hard work, the statue to commemorate Solomon is now closer than ever to becoming a reality.

And Mr McStein said he was delighted with all the support he had received so far from people in Leigh.

“People were really behind the idea of doing something for Solomon and I didn’t think people would be pushing for it to go like it has,” he said.

“We will see just how far it goes and whether we can get something permanently in place. That’s when we will be able to say we have achieved something.”

To get involved with the project to remember Solomon, contact Mr McStein via facebook.com/monumentmenofficial or by emailing monumentmen.initial@gmail.com.