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Herriot author to be immortalised in bronze
1:04pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A SCULPTOR who has immortalised footballing legends Sir Bobby Robson and Bob Stokoe, is set to create a bronze statue of the James Herriot author, following a bequest from a committed fan.
Sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, whose statue of Dad's Army's Captain Mainwaring received critical acclaim, has been commissioned to create a life-size portrayal of Thirsk's most famous citizen, vet Alf Wight, standing with a dog.
The artwork, which will take the former Clash Of The Titans movie technician a year to complete, will be displayed in the garden of his former veterinary surgery, overlooking the World Of James Herriot museum, in Kirkgate, Thirsk.
Ian Ashton, the centre's managing director, said he had been stunned when he learnt life member of the Friends of the World of James Herriot, Thomas Blinks, of East Sussex, had left the funds in his will to the museum.
He said: "The statue will be the jewel in the crown of the museum and will give an infinite life to Alf Wight."
The author's son and daughter, Rosie Page and Jim Wight, said they initially had reservations about the idea of a statue as their father "didn't enjoy the limelight", but agreed to its creation after viewing examples of Mr Hedges-Quinn's work and as it would serve as a memorial to their father's legacy to the town.
Jim Wight said he had provided the sculptor, who was chosen partly due to his links with Sunderland FC - where Mr Wight was a president - with some of his father's jackets and numerous photographs to help create the artwork.
Mr Ashton said the sculpture would cost £60,000 and a £35,000 fundraising drive had already received donations from as far as the United States.
When the target for the statue is reached, the Friends of James Herriot aim to launch a bursary, to help fund students through veterinary college.
Donations to the James Herriot Statue Fund can be made online at worldofjamesherriot.org/herriot-news.html
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