The Colin Dexter Memorial Fund JANUARY 2024 UPDATE

The fund was set up following the death of Colin Dexter in 2017 as the Society wanted to commemorate his passing in a tangible way. It was always a memorial fund (and not a statue fund as such) since it was not known what the response might be, but the initial intention was for a statue, the cost of which was estimated at the time to be around £50,000. However, despite a good start there have been very few subscribers after the initial rush. To date the fund stands at £2,260.26 spread among 95 subscribers with most subscribing £1 and with the largest donation being £500. Corporate sponsorship was sought from Blackwells, Colin’s publisher, ITV etc. but all failed, though there was one private individual who expressed an interest in underwriting the scheme with whom we are still in contact.

Other less ambitious options have also been put forward ranging from a bench, a plaque where Colin worked and/or at his home, the sponsorship of a classics book bursary (at Colin’s old college or school), a mural, small busts of Colin that could displayed at Morse locations etc.

Meanwhile there have been various changes at Oxford City Council such that the site chosen for any such memorial in Summertown is now not to be redeveloped (at least in the near future) and so a new location would need to be found along with new supporters within the council. On a more positive note, the cost of production could be reduced by having a bronze statue (which need not be full size) instead of the marble version first mooted.

Last year there was contact with Oxford University and it might be possible to place a plaque on the building within which Colin worked (and which remains largely unaltered to this day). There is certainly enough money for this and probably for a bench as well (though there is already such a bench outside Quod in the High Street). If still wanting a statue the first step is a miniature from which the full-size version is cast. This costs around £5,000 to produce and from it further copies could be produced in limited quantities at a few £100s each which could be sold to raise money towards the final memorial (or as money was generated from the sale of busts more could be made and distributed to persons/locations most associated with Morse).

I would like to get feedback from all subscribers as to what to do next, and also if anybody has any ideas/can help with information on how to raise more money e.g. how does crowdfunding work, or how do you go about getting Arts Council funding? I would be very pleased to hear from memorial subscribers and members alike. 

Antony Richards

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