Seven former mayors of High Wycombe pledged their support behind the campaign to restore the town’s iconic Red Lion this week, as the full extent of the damage was revealed.

The politicians joined together outside the empty High Street portico, where the crumbling lion has watched over the town for more than two centuries.

The show of support came just one week after a fundraising campaign to repair the Red Lion was kick-started by the Bucks Free Press.

Each donating £10, current town mayor Zia Ahmed was joined by six of his predecessors, Mohammed Hanif, Khalil Ahmed, Trevor Snaith, Liaquat Ali, Nigel Vickery and Frances Alexander.

The kind gesture came days after expert woodcarvers transported the Red Lion from the High Street and began stripping back the damaged paintwork.

Their work revealed significant damage to the wooden structure, which has been battered by the elements over decades.

Current mayor, councillor Ahmed, said: “It has a lot of historical importance. The lion has been here a long time.

“I’ve seen a lot of people saying that the High Street doesn’t look the same without it here.”

Leading the restoration would is Colin Mantripp, the grandson of Frank Hudson who created the replica lion back in the 1950s.

Hundreds of pounds have already been raised, as campaigners join the Bucks Free Press in trying to reach a £7,000 goal for the restoration and raise an extra £4,000 to support a 10-year maintenance programme.


Cheques and cash can now be donated as part of a big fundraising campaign to help support the restoration and the overall long-term maintenance of the Red Lion.

If you want to send a cheque and help secure the future of the town landmark, please post or hand your donation in to the BFP offices in Station Road, Loudwater, HP10 9TY.

All cheques should be made payable to “High Wycombe Society – the Red Lion account”.

Alternatively, visit our online fundraising page at to support the campaign.