CASTING is now underway of a statue to commemorate a world famous nursery rhyme penned in Colchester.

It follows further Colchester firms pledging money towards Sir Bob Russell’s efforts to immortalise the rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in cast bronze.

The world-renowned poem is said to have been written by sisters Jane and Ann Taylor, who lived in West Stockwell Street, Colchester, in 1806.

Work on casting the statue is now progressing at Lawford foundry Sculpture Services, with sections being completed separately.

Gazette: Underway - casting on the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star statue has begun in LawfordUnderway - casting on the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star statue has begun in Lawford (Image: Newsquest)

Sir Bob hopes the artwork will be unveiled outside Tesco Express in Colchester High Street on September 23.

“Although my four colleagues and I have raised £80,000 for the statue of the Taylor sisters, what is currently unknown is the cost of the paving and the installation,” said the former MP.

“Therefore, fundraising continues. Clearly it has to meet all the requirements of Essex Highways but we have been granted planning permission for it.”

The progress comes after Colchester Business Improvement District donated £2,500 to the campaign and Lion Walk Shopping Centre pledged £1,000.

Gazette: Work in progress - a section of the new statueWork in progress - a section of the new statue (Image: Newsquest)

In addition, Colchester businessman Maarten Westera donated £500 from his company Saint IT Ltd.

Sir Bob said: “The donations from businesses are symbolically significant because I regard them as a seal of approval and a vote of confidence from the business community that they share my belief the statue is destined to be a tourist attraction which is good news for the local economy.”

The statue itself is being cast in bronze having been sculpted by Mandy Pratt, from Ardleigh, who masterminded the statue of Peter Wright at Colchester United’s former Layer Road ground.

Gazette: Campaign - Sir Bob Russell with a scaled down model of the statueCampaign - Sir Bob Russell with a scaled down model of the statue (Image: Seana Hughes)

“It has been a team game and other people have brought their skills and initiatives to the effort,” added Sir Bob.

“I think the statue will be something we can celebrate, not just for people living in Colchester but for people who may visit here.

“It is all good stuff at the moment, things are coming together and I am grateful to everyone who has been involved.”