Queen Victoria is on her way back to Southport but not as everyone wants her.
When she returns, within a week or so, Britain’s greatest monarch will be facing in a different direction to the one she left in September 2005.
Where once she gazed majestically out to sea (or at least at the Silcocks Amusement Arcade) The Queen of England and Empress of India will now stare icily down Nevill Street.
Former Southport tourism boss Phil King said: “The statue looked out at the sea for years and this was most appropriate.
“Now she will be looking down a street filled with chip shops and amusement arcades. There is nothing wrong with these — they are part of our tourism industry — but Queen Victoria looks out on to the sea front, that’s the way she looks at her best.”
But Sefton Council said that the change was for the better.
A spokesman said: “In recent months we have spent £80,000 painstakingly restoring and rejuvenating this wonderful statue.
“When Queen Victoria returns, she will face the town centre — and more specifically the war memorial obelisk.
“This will create a physical link between these two important historical structures.
“She will have a special lighting scheme to raise her profile further and will provide a striking welcome to the public as they travel from the town centre to the sea front.”
This isn’t the first time the great lady has switched her position. The Queen’s staue, which was built in 1903, two years after the monarch’s death, was orginally placed in front of what is now Southport Library.
Then it was moved up to her current position as the seafront boomed in the early part of the 19th century. Dr Ian Dungavell, director of the national Victorian Society said: “The settings of Queen Victoria statues were carefully considered.
“Changing the setting may be regrettable.”