Ryder Cup founder to have statue erected in St Albans

A STATUE celebrating one of St Albans’ most famous residents is set to be placed in the heart of the city.

It’s hoped that the sculpture of Samuel Ryder – local entrepreneur and creator of one golfing’s most prestigious events, the Ryder Cup – will be the first in a series of monuments along a Heritage Sculpture Trail designed to boost tourism and raise the profile of St Albans’ art, culture and history.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening, councillors agreed in principle to the plan for a Samuel Ryder statue funded by the foundation set up in his name and promised to help them find a suitable location within the city.

The Samuel Ryder Foundation showed the councillors a short film to demonstrate the widespread support for the statue, with testimonials from local business people as well as golfing figures including former player and commentator Peter Alliss and American champion Ben Crenshaw.

The cost of the statue is estimated to stand at around �150,000 and will be financed by the foundation, which has already set up a Samuel Ryder trail that takes in a number of sites around the city to give an introduction to his life.

Samuel, who was born in 1858 and died in 1936 at the age of 78, developed a successful garden seed business which began in the shed of his first St Albans home in Folly Lane.

With his brother, he also set up the Heath and Heather herbal shops which later became part of Holland and Barrett. He was a keen churchman who was a councillor 1903-1916 and Mayor in 1905.