The plan for a statue was initiated last June by James Lambert, a resident of Henley-on-Thames who wanted to formally recognize Harrison’s links to the town. Harrison had moved to Henley-on-Thames in the 1970s, and he lived there until his death in 2001.
“George really got involved in a lot of community matters,” Lambert told the BBC last summer after circulating a petition for the statue. “He helped to try and save the local cinema, he worked with a lot of local businesses and communities to try and raise their profiles . . . he rescued the local garden center by buying all the plants.”
When Lambert wrote to the musician’s widow, Olivia Harrison, about the proposed bronze statue, she responded that another form of tribute would be more fitting.
“After many years of thoughtful consideration, and with great appreciation of the sentiment towards George, we have decided that a more appropriate way of honouring his memory in Henley would be to support a community project,” Harrison told the Daily Mirror. “We will announce the details in the summer.”
“It is slightly disappointing but you have to respect Olivia’s wishes, as she still has a house in Henley, Friar Park,” Lambert said. “And I think the danger was it wouldn’t just become a Henley acknowledgement of George’s work but would encourage more people to visit Henley.”