One giant step

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Elliot Whitfield, 11, keeps control of a puppet of the Yorkshire Giant alongside director Emily Smith in the middle of Osmotherley.

Elliot and fellow schoolchildren are to take part in a musical performance inspired by the life of a towering man who was dubbed the Yorkshire Giant in the Victorian era. Harry Cooper was born in 1853 in the valley of Scugdale, which lies just a mile north of Osmotherley in North Yorkshire.

During a bout of typhoid which left him bedridden as a young man, he grew 13 inches in just five months. Mr Cooper, who worked as a miner despite his height, was reputedly the tallest man in the world at the time, measuring 8ft 3in and weighing 406lb at the age of 23.

He became a sensation after members of a travelling circus persuaded him to go on tour around England.

Pupils from Swainby and Potto Primary School and Osmotherley Primary School will perform the musical play at Osmotherley Village Hall next Wednesday.PICTURE: james hardisty