Kirklees Council has insisted that joker Jake Mangel-Wurzel’s “folly” will have to go.
Now the Lindley Moor eccentric has vowed to keep a vigil over the 9ft monument he built at Huddersfield Civic Centre to prevent workers dismantling the structure.
Jake, 80, stood guard over his handiwork when it was last threatened with demolition by the council soon after he built it 14 years ago.
The sculpture – topped by a golden globe – stands in a small area of the civic centre precinct which Jake named Folly Court close to a bench, which Jake also made – and which Kirklees is happy to keep in situ.
However, Kirklees says that the folly is in disrepair and will be removed as part of a general clean-up of the area.
Karl Battersby, strategic director, economy and infrastructure at Kirklees, said: “The council has contacted the owner regarding the removal of the folly structure, which has been in a significant state of disrepair for years, and taken together with the general state of the courtyard presents a poor image to the many residents and businesses who visit our offices on a daily basis.
“It’s removal is taking place as part of a wider clean-up of the area including weeding, replanting the flower beds and replacing the slats on the bench. We recognise the sentimental attachment that the owner has with the folly, and we intend to return it to them with minimal damage.”
Kirklees has given no timescale for the work.
Jake said it would be impossible to remove the folly intact. “It’s not possible,” he said. “It would have to be destroyed. It has a massive 52-year-old lump of reinforced concrete in the middle with high-tensile steel bars. The folly must weigh about a ton-and-a-half.
“It took me seven months on and off to build the folly and it has all kinds of ingenious features.
“I put my heart and soul into this project – working at the weekends and making some of the parts during the week. It really would break my heart to see it go. It is part of Huddersfield folklore now.”
Jake said: “I’m quite prepared to restore it to its original condition if they will give me a month to do it.”
And he vowed: “I’ll make a bed under the steps and keep a vigil with friends bringing me food and drink.”