In the center of Ipswich’s Giles Circus stands The Famous Giles Family.
This statue is a tribute to local artist Carl Giles, whose iconic comic strips graced national newspapers for almost half a century. His weekly topical comic strips often involved the Giles Family, a sympathetic caricature of working-class households in the latter half of the 20th century.
In a family of parents, children, parrots, cats, and dogs, perhaps Giles’ most iconic character was the family matriarch, Grandma. It is Grandma, holding her umbrella and padlocked handbag, who is the center point of this 1993 tribute to Giles.
Though not born in Ipswich, Giles moved to the town early in his cartoonist career and never left. The town chose not only to honor the cartoonist by recreating his characters but also through the statue’s location. With goggled eyes raised, Grandma, surrounded by fellow Giles Family icons, looks up at Giles’ former studio, perhaps even the very window he looked out of when creating them.