Sneak preview of smuggler statue

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Scarborough’s latest piece of public artwork is taking shape - with one of two smuggler figures now ready for installation.

This photograph of the completed adult smuggler statue was sent to The Scarborough News by sculptor Ray Lonsdale, who is now busy working on the child figure which will stand beside it.

He said: “I’m working on the boy figure and it will be ready in four weeks or so.

“I’m really happy with the progress and how it’s turned out so far.”

The sculpture was commissioned by Scarborough’s Maureen Robinson, who bought the Freddie Gilroy and Filey Fishermen statues as gifts for the town.

Mr Lonsdale is keeping Mrs Robinson up to date with the new piece of artwork by sending her letters and photographs detailing the progress.

He said: “I keep sending Maureen pictures in the post - I like to make sure she gets them first.”

The finished sculpture will feature a life-size smuggler and his apprentice, both carrying barrels of brandy.

The artwork will be installed at Merchant’s Row in Scarborough’s Old Town, in a spot with sea views.

It is set to become a major attraction for residents and tourists alike, following in the footsteps of Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers in Marine Drive and the Fisherman statue in Filey, whose full title is “A High Tide In Short Wellies”.

All the statues are made from corten steel, which Mr Lonsdale says gives the exact finish he is looking for.

He said that he is working to a completion date of August 21 and is looking forward to bringing the sculpture to Scarborough.

Mr Lonsdale has been in touch with Scarborough Council with regard to a plinth for the artwork and is in the process of finialising all the details.

He said: “It’s still being sorted out, but hopefully the statue will be in place by the fourth week of August.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing it in position. Seeing things out in public is what it’s all about and I know that there is a smuggling heritage in that area.”

Mrs Robinson, who has spent £100,000 on the previous two statues, has not disclosed the cost of the third.

She told The Scarborough News that she has a long-held fascination with the history of smuggling in the Scarborough area and beyond.