The mermaid sculpture was sculpted in the early 1950's by George Aldersley, an engineer for Preston and District Water Board, and also clearly an accomplished artist. From Boyd Harris and other colleagues who recall working there with George, the following details have emerged.
The statue is known as Miranda, and appears in photos in a book by E.C. Oakes published in July of 1953. George Aldersley apparently started working at the Water Board about 1950, which makes it likely the statue was sculpted after 1950 and before 1953.
The model for the statue was George's wife Madge, and it seems that the inspiration for creating the statue may have been the 1948 British film "Miranda", about a mermaid.
The statue does not have the traditional large mermaid tail, and at first glance may appear to have feet. Closer inspection as seen in this enlarged photo detail shows that the statue's legs end not in feet and toes, but instead are flat and fin-like at the ends, making her a twin-tailed mermaid.
George pursued the arts in Ambleside (Cumbria) with Madge and their only child Jill after leaving the Water Board in the 1970's. After George passed away, Madge continued her artistic career under the name of Marie Destelle. Jill Aldersley was a well-known and accomplished painter until her death in 2007.
Other twin-tailed mermaids in our collection are listed here.
● The Mermaids of Earth coffee-table book: See page 31 in the book about this sculpture.