Dockworker, 89, cast in bronze revisits sculpture

Johnny Ringwood, wearing a light blue suit jacket with navy blue trousers and tie, standing with the monument of three dockworkers at the Royal Docks in London
The monument depicts dockworkers who historically worked in Canning Town [Excel London]

A man depicted in a statue dedicated to east London's dockworkers has revisited the monument he helped get put in place.

Johnny Ringwood is one of three individuals represented in Landed, the £250,000 bronze statue by sculptor by Les Johnson, located outside ExCeL centre in the Royal Docks.

The 89-year-old was part of a decade-long campaign in raising the money needed for the statue.

A ceremony was held on Friday to mark his "proud" contribution amid deteriorating health.

Mr Ringwood, who worked in the area as a docker, said: "To actually come down and celebrate with my family and all my friends and all my supporters, something like today, you couldn't buy it."

The statue, which highlights the instrumental role dockworker's played in the area's history, was erected in 2009.

A black and white photograph of a ship arriving at London's Royal Docks and the docks full of people waiting for its arrival
The statue was designed to celebrate the dockworkers [The Royal Docks]

The sculpture honours the history of the Royal Docks communities and the men and women who worked there from 1855 to 1983.

It features three dockworkers: Mr Ringwood, a former seaman; Patrick Holland, a stevedore; and Mark Tibbs, a former professional boxer from Canning Town.

Instigated by Mr Ringwood, it is one of the largest figurative sculptures in London.

Mr Ringwood also authored a book about his life on the docks, titled Cargoes and Capers: The Life and Times of a London Docklands Man.

"I don't want to sound egotistical but I just feel so proud of the statue and I feel so proud of everybody who got involved," Mr Ringwood said.

"Without their help it wouldn't have happened."

It was paid for by the Royal Docks Trust, ExCeL and an undisclosed contribution from the Queen Mother.

Johnny Ringwood standing next to the statue depicting himself, he is wearing a light blue suit jacket, a dark coloured tie and glasses
Johnny Ringwood is among three workers depicted in the monument [Excel London]

Roger Hooker, the chief operations officer at ExCeL London, said: "Johnny was at the absolute centre of making our statue."

He described Mr Ringwood as "the instigator" behind the campaign for the monument.

"He got out knocking on doors and got people enthused and excited," Mr Hooker added.

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