03:48AM, Tuesday 31 January 2012
A campaign to raise £7,000 to replace the Altwood schoolboys memorial has been officially launched.
The Companions was stolen from Ray Mill Island in October and to date only cut up parts of it have been found by police.
The four foot bronze was put there to commemorate Lee Powell, 15, Andrew Watts, 14, Daniel Howton, 14 and Michael Taylor ,13 who died on trip to the Austrian Alps in 1988.
Families of the four boys decided in November they would like an exact replica of the 4ft bronze to be created.
Artist Eunice Goodman has a copy of the statue at her Maidenhead home which can be used to recast the bronze.
On Friday she met with mayor Councillor Asghar Majeed and Altwood CE School head Kathleen Higgins at the plinth on the island to back the drive for funds.
The school began collecting money after a surge of public calls to replace the stolen memorial and has already coollected more than £400.
Cllr Majeed said: "Some people have already donated generously but there is a long way to go to the target figure of £7,000.
"Together - by donations small and large - we can ensure The Companions returns to its rightful place on Ray Mill Island."
Donations can be posted to Altwood CE School, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PU or taken to into reception.
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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.