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Published: 1st SEPTEMBER 2022

Portrait Benches in Southampton

The Portrait Benches project commemorates local heroes nominated by their communities by immortalising them as life-sized steel figures. You'll find them on National Cycle Network routes across the UK. This latest iteration of the project is in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Portrait benches showing Richard Burton, Rob Brydon and Dick Wagstaff at Quoits Wood Crossing in the Afan Valley

Portrait Bench figures can be found on National Cycle Network routes all across the UK.

As part of the Portrait Benches project, we're celebrating Monty's Bike Hub volunteer Dave Howells and former footballer Aman Dosanj, the first British South Asian to represent England at any level.

Route 2of theNational Cycle Networkruns 378 miles from Dover to St. Austell.

From here at Weston Hard beach, you can travel west to explore the stunning Jurassic Coast, or go east to reach Portsmouth Harbour and beyond.

This route will take you into Southampton city centre, where you can also joinNational Route 23.

From Southampton Port, you can take the ferry to Cowes and continue your journey on Route 23 across the Isle of Wight.

For hilltop views, go north to Winchester andthe South Downs Way.

This mainly off-road route forges a path over the rolling hills of Sussex and Hampshire, and is suitable for mountain bikes.

Explore the National Cycle Network

Find walking, wheeling and cycling routes near you

Celebrating Southampton's local heroes

Portrait Bench sculpture outline design of Aman Dosanj, former England and Southampton footballer

Aman Dosanj

Aman Dosanj is a former footballer and the first British South Asian to represent England at any level, making history as a Southampton Saints player.

She was also the first girl to be accepted into a Premier League boys academy.

Aman worked as an ambassador for the Football Association and supported the Football For All and Kick It Out campaigns.

Now based in Canada, she tells stories about how food connects us in her blog , and continues to advocate for social justice.

Portrait Bench sculpture outline design of Monty's Bike Hub volunteer Dave Howells on his bike

Dave Howells

David Howells is a volunteer with and a hero to many.

Known by younger visitors to the bike hub as “grandad Dave”, he’s taught people of all ages across Southampton to ride.

He supports the local community by helping to lead rides and sharing his skills in bike maintenance.

Dave’s contributions were recognised in the 2019 Cycling UK Volunteer Awards, when he became a finalist in the Exceptional Individual – Community Project category.

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Find more Portrait Benches across the UK