Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wenlock & Mandeville: A Guide For Old Farts

Look me in the eye…

…and tell me that you still hate Wenlock and Mandeville. Here’s what our chums at Manchester Walks think of ‘em (via Twitter)…

I’ve become incredibly fond of the pair over the summer. But I do have to come clean: when I first saw them my reaction was… “Huh?”

“They are clearly,” wrote Creative Review, “of the digital age.”

And perhaps therein lies the rub: I was too old to get it.

My five-year-old daughter merely sighed with disdain when I asked, “Which one’s Wenlock and which one’s Mandeville?” And it is she who helped me to decipher the whole picture. I pass her wisdom on to you, so that you too may grow to love them as I have done.

They were formed, so she tells me, from the metal of a bit of the Olympic Stadium.

[Nice, legendary stuff.]

And their skin is a shiny metal that reflects things around them.

[Very 2012, this: The Shard does just the same.]

Wenlock’s head is more bullet-shaped…

… while Mandeville’s looks more like a kind of cycling helmet…

…while on his wrist he wears a sort of digital watch…

This differs from Wenlock…

… who sports the Olympic rings as bracelets, two on one wrist and three on the other.


Simpler yet is the fact that each has their initial stamped on her/his* forehead… which formed the crux of the “Doh!” moment for my daughter.

[* This his/her business: I have been unable to ascertain the sex of the two. If you have any information, do drop us a line at the usual address.]

Does this help? Have I convinced you? Or are you still of the opinion that they look like the result of “a drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek." (With thanks to the Canadian Globe & Mail newspaper.)

I think the sight of families posing by the statues of W&M all over London, many of them pulling Usain Bolt poses, has been one of the highlights of the summer. Silly and jolly, it has cheered me greatly. I’m going to miss them when they’re gone.

Which leads me to my new campaign: Wenlock and Mandeville for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square!

Any takers?


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1 comment:

  1. Brilliant idea to have W&M next on the Fourth Plinth. Will be very sorry when they disappear from our city streets - though I had the same initial 'huh?' reaction.