Percy The Peacock
Unknown to many, the story of Percy the Peacock is probably the last thing you’d expect to hear about, let alone know that a sculpture was created in his memory. But, to the people of Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), Percy was more than just an escapee peacock.
Tale has it that over 20 years ago, Percy flew to the hospital grounds after escaping from a nearby farm and, after being returned several times, he thought life at the hospital was much better suited to him and became a permanent fixture there. Percy was often seen greeting visitors and patients and would sometimes become a car park attendant, losing his temper at cars that got too close. In December 2016, Percy started to show his age and became severely ill but recovered thanks to veterinary treatment. Unfortunately, as the new year passed, illness struck again, and Percy couldn’t recover, dying in the arms of RJAH’s medical secretary, Tracy Dunbar, on the 2nd of January 2017.
As honouree hospital mascot and an animal that would later become a much-loved regional legend, RJAH thought about a way to immortalise his presence within the grounds. The British Ironwork Centre was commissioned to create a sculpture that would showcase Percy whilst highlighting his relevance to the hospital. Luke Kite, a local artist, alongside the Ironworks created the life-size ‘Percy the Peacock’ sculpture using over 1,000 obsolete hospital theatre instruments.
The statue was unveiled on the 21st July 2017 by HRH Princess Alexandra, first cousin of the Queen, which coincided with the official opening of the Theatre & Oncology building. Standing proudly on a plinth outside RJAH’s main entrance, Percy the Peacock continues to greet visitors and patients and will remain there for many years to come.