Manual Ref* NFbreTH011 Show 16 images 1051

Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe)

County Norfolk   District Council Breckland District Council 
Civil Parish or equivalent Thetford  Town/Village* Thetford 
Road Off Bridge Street 
Precise Location Entrance to Bus station/Car Park, 
OS Grid Ref TL 868830  Postcode IP 24 
Previous location(s)  
Setting Small garden  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Sean Hedges-Quinn  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

Public subscription organised by Dad's Army Museum, Thetford 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling



Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Statue

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Captain Mainwaring  Bronze  Life-size 
Bench  Wood  180 x 40 x 41 cm. 
Garden  Grass and brick  6 x 14 m. 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Dad's Army Museum Thetford 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Inscriptions Inscriptions: Statue: On badge Home Guard; On sleeve CP 1 Bench ‘made and donated by Bajco, Breckland Architectural Joinery.  

Description (physical)

The statue is shown seated on an elegant wooden bench, with his back to the river. It is set in a small lawn framed by bricks with a brick arrow winding through it, and a Union Jack under the seat. The care taken in the details of the costume, his cap, glasses, belt, gloves, folds in the sleeves, gaiters and laces on the boots cannot overcome the difficulty of animating the statue. In spite of this David Croft, who wrote the 78 episodes of the famous BBC sitcom Dad’s Army with Jimmy Perry, said he thought the statue was “absolutely marvelous” and was a “frightening” likeness of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard captain, played by Arthur Lowe. 

Description (iconographical)

The series was based on the comic misadventures of the Home Guards of fictional Walmington on sea, under the command of the pompous bank manager George Mainwaring. The site was chosen since the first episode, broadcast in 1968, had been filmed in the Norvic room of the nearby Anchor Hotel (now awaiting demolition), and during the subsequent filming the cast and crew stayed at the Bell Hotel, just behind the statue on the opposite side of the River Thet. The series still remains one of the most repeated on British television. The unveiling of the statue followed a three year campaign and fundraising based on an initial design by local artist John Mayes by members of the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford to mark the years the sitcom was filmed in the town between 1968 and 1977. The final lay-out was designed by the sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn. The statue was briefly removed in August 2016 as work on the new Thetford Riverside site continued, but returned later that year. The changes had an unfortunate effect on the display of the statue. Landscaping lowered the whole of new garden, as well as introducing steps and a railing behind Captain Mainwaring. Where before his head and shoulders rose above the brick wall of the flower bed besides the bridge, and also could be seen against the arch of the bridge, he is now diminished by the new background, designed by the architects responsible for Thetford Riverside, LSI architects LLP. Rephotographed and entry revised 06/08/2017  


Date taken:  13/7/2010
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  13/7/2010

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

Adam Gretton EDP 20/06/2010; information from Dad's Army Museum; EDP 23/08/2016, Don't Panic Captain Mainwaring statue will return to Thetford 


Date entered:  18/7/2010

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke