Today the Guardian launches a campaign to get Sutton town centre a landmark.
The Angel of the North is instantly recognisable on Tyneside's landscape - serving as both an icon of the North East's industrial heritage and a successful tourist draw card.
But if Sutton had a landmark to rival that of the Angel - championing and symbolising the town - what would it be?
Under the draft Sutton town centre area action plan, designed to reinvigorate the area over the next 10-15 years, there lies the potential for up to four landmarks.
The development plan lists these as next to the station, next to the civic offices, by Manor Park in the and next to The Green.
It makes no mention of what these could be – whether building, art work, fountain or statue.
So what would you choose?
Could there be a statue to a famous former Suttonite such as Bradley McIntosh, member of former British pop group S Club 7 or entertainer Sir Harry Secombe, member of the Goon Show?
If a statue to a living person seems too bizarre, what about some art work for shoppers to muse over.
Or if the council wants to encourage a Parisian atmosphere down the High Street could Sutton have its own answer to the Eiffel tower – a monument for holidaymakers flying back home to wave to?
Trinity Church's Reverend Martin Camroux said a landmark was needed to brighten up a “drab” High Street.
He said: “I think a fountain would be nice, something to make the area more striking.”
But town centre worker Gordon Lowes, a tax senior at Myrus Smith chartered accountants, who has lived in Sutton most his life, said he didn't think a landmark would make much of a difference.
He said: “I would rather there are more things for children to do and a better parking system.”
But, like the £800,000 Angel project and the ridiculed £23,000 totem poles in St Helier – if Sutton goes ahead with a landmark it will surely not be without controversy.
As Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam Paul Burstow said: “We need something that gives a sense of community and looks back on our history as a borough; we somehow need to encapsulate that.”
After joking there could be “public stocks for politicians” Mr Burstow stopped short of recommending any ideas, instead insisting that: “There needs to be a sense that the public own it, otherwise it will only give us a bad name”.
What landmark do you want Sutton to have? Leave your ideas and opinions at suttonguardian.co.uk
Famous people linked to Sutton:
- Johnathan Lambeth who played Danny Kendall in BBC's Grange Hill grew up in Sutton.
-David Bellamy OBE, botanist, author, broadcaster, and environmental campaigner. He attended Sutton County Grammar School.
- Controversial gay former police commander Brian Paddick who became the Lib Dem former mayoral candidate against Boris Johnson and appeared on ITV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. His mum still lives here.
- Bradley McIntosh, member of former British pop group S Club 7. He attended Greenshaw High school in Sutton and became famous at the age of 16.
- James Cracknell, OBE, British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist, was born in Sutton. Cracknell was awarded an OBE for services to Sport in 2004. He is also a trained geography teacher.
- Quentin Crisp, of Sutton, writer, author, raconteur (1908-12-25). Born Denis Charles Pratt, Quentin became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant.
- Sir Harry Secombe, lived in Cheam Road for 32 years. Member of the Goon Show cast.
Do you know any more famous Suttonites?
A brief history of Sutton:
When William The Conqueror's Domesday Book was made in 1086 Sutton was described as: "2 carycates in the demesne, 29 villains and 4 cottars with 13 carucates, 2 churches, 2 bondsmen and 2 acres of meadow. The wood yields 10 swine."
Sutton was recorded as Sudtone in a charter of Chertsey Abbey believed to have been drawn up in the late seventh-century when the Manor was granted to the Abbot of Chertsey by Frithwald, Governor of Surrey.
The Domesday Book also states that the Abbot of Chertsey held the Manor. This remained so until 1538 when the Manor was sold to King Henry VIII, along with the manors of Ebisham (Epsom), Coulsdon, and Horley. They were all then granted to Sir Nicholas Carew of Beddington in that same year.
Sutton railway station was opened on 10 May 1847. Likely due to the new, fast link to central London, Sutton's population more than doubled between 1851 and 1861. New housing to accommodate this growth was constructed in the Lind Road area and called the "New Town".
The ancient parish of Sutton became a Local Government District in 1882 (Sutton Sanitary District) and then an Urban District Council in 1894.
Sutton and Cheam were amalgamated in 1928 to form Sutton and Cheam Urban District, which gained municipal borough status in 1934. The London Borough of Sutton was formed in 1965.