Dry stone wall sculpture set to go on show

Stonemason Johnny Clasper creating a new dry stone wall sculpture inreadiness for the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show
Stonemason Johnny Clasper creating a new dry stone wall sculpture inreadiness for the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show
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Sculptor Johnny Clasper has been commissioned to create a 10m-long dry stone wall made from Yorkshire limestone.

But the ‘Crimple Valley Oracle’ is a far cry from a traditional dry stone wall and visitors to this year’s Great Yorkshire Show will be able to see Mr Clasper, a member of the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild, creating it before their eyes.

When complete the new feature will be 1.5m at its highest point with a 600mm viewing ‘eye’ towards one of the showground’s main exhibition halls and towards another of the Guild’s creations, a dry stone wall memorial seat. The commission has come from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, organisers of the event in Harrogate.

The 156th Great Yorkshire Show opens on Tuesday, July 8 and runs until Thursday, July 10, and will see animals competing, demonstrations and other attractions, together with visits by the Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

The project was the idea of Show Director Bill Cowling, who is also President of the Guild, and Guild Director Dave Purvis. They asked Mr Clasper to design and start building the new feature but also wanted show visitors to see it take shape over the three days.

Mr Cowling said: “Dry stone walling is such a crucial, traditional skill, and it is important that we showcase it to our visitors.”

Mr Clasper has been busy building the ‘eye’ of the wall and will be assisted by members of the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Association and volunteers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The Marks & Spencer Company Archive will be celebrating the local roots of M&S by exhibiting at the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time. It will be showcasing replica items from the company’s 130-year history in the Farmer’s Lounge on July 9 and 10.