Eyecatching Welsh dragon brings Shrewsbury to a standstill
8th December 2010
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Christmas shoppers in Shrewsbury could hardly believe their eyes when a huge Welsh dragon appeared in the town centre today, bringing traffic to a halt.

The 16-foot long, 11ft high and 10 ft wide metal dragon was carried on a transporter through the streets of Shrewsbury to promote tourism in Mid Wales.

Caravan dealership Salop Leisure, which has sales centres in Shrewsbury, Machynlleth in Mid Wales and Stourport, has commissioned the impressive dragon, named Dewi, from Marche Studios at Ford, near Shrewsbury.

Dewi will be given a temporary home at Salop Leisure’s Emstrey HQ before moving to his permanent home on the Cambrian Coast in Spring 2011. His role will be to guard the entrance to the five star Min-y-Don Holiday Home and Touring Park, which nestles below the famous Harlech Castle.

The dragon took 732 hours to be crafted and comprises 2,500 different sized scales welded onto a frame. The scales, cut from 78 square metres of sheet metal, have been polished and given 12 coats of lacquer. Dewi’s creator is metal artist Tony ‘Fred’ Peacock, who was assisted by Ashley Bissell.

“It’s the longest and most complicated steel sculpture that we’ve ever done and we are very proud of the result,” said Bill Hunt, MD of Marche Studios.

Salop Leisure’s chairman Tony Bywater is similarly impressed with the work. “He’s an exact imitation of a Welsh dragon and he’s going to look fantastic in his new home, set against the backdrop of Harlech Castle, which is a World Heritage site,” he said. “The skilled artist who created him has done a brilliant job.

“Before the dragon flies west to Harlech, we thought it would be good to share our new creation with the people of Shrewsbury and at the same time promote tourism in Mid Wales, which has some of the best caravan parks in Europe.”

Anyone who missed the dragon’s journey through Shrewsbury town centre will get a chance to get a close up of Dewi outside Salop Leisure’s headquarters over the winter before his Spring move to Harlech.

Dewi is not the first metal sculpture crafted for Salop Leisure by Marche Studios, who have also created an oak tree and a heron for Seven Oaks Holiday Home Park at Coedway, near Shrewsbury.

For more information, please contact Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure chairman, on 01743 282400 or Bill Hunt, Marche Industries Ltd, on 01743 850600.

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