Many thanks to BCJ Developments for transporting Dudley to Cleethorpes.
Cor Blimey it’s hot at Cleethorpes, watch where you hold me!
My last day at home, I’m off to live at Cleethorpes. Please take care of me.
Ohh...Don’t think he wants to go!
Dudley arrived at Cleethorpes in the glorious sunshine.
It was perhaps no coincidence that fond treasured childhood memories of donkey rides
on the beach had triggered my thoughts that led me to find the solution to fulfil
a creative desire to make a large piece of sculpture. My next piece had to be something
of significance, something to do with the seaside.
I wanted to play my part in helping make an attraction to bring tourists to Cleethorpes,
and ater little thought it soon became so obvious - and no one had thought about
it before. A Donkey! of course! but why a Donkey? Well...No seaside resort is complete
without Traditional Donkey rides!.
Gladys Nuttall had once been the Mayor back in 1988 but she and her family were most
famous for donkeys at Cleethorpes. Gladys and her husband Buster were the first
to bring donkey rides to Cleethorpes beach. For 'Donkeys' years, (pun intended) (
actually since before the first world war 1940's ) the Nuttall family, have given
hundreds of children hours of pleasure, their faces beaming with delight as they
hung on to the reigns. It saddened me to think that the Nuttalls were so renowned
for their donkey rides and yet no permanent acknowledgement to them has been made
in the resort....so it was easy. I would create a life size donkey in the hope it
could be proudly on display somewhere along the seaside in Cleethorpes.
So, in June 2011, I contacted the son, Mr. John Nuttall. I told John who I was and
that I had an idea to create a life-size statue of a Donkey for the beach. I wanted
to do something that would make an impact on Cleethorpes, be an attraction and at
the same time in recognition for the years of service provided to the seaside town
by his family. Gladys and Buster would be so surprised to think after all these years
they have made a difference to so many people, brought joy and happiness to children.
So John and I kept it secret from his Mum and Dad.
I just got on with it in my back garden under a gazebo. Over the next few weeks,
I spent many hours visiting the donkeys in the field, researching and measuring for
the final design. My sister accompanied me to photograph the donkeys - we made sure
we took plenty of carrots as treats for the posing animals. I made sketches and
took wet clay to make a small model for research on the stances etc before embarking
on the life size figure. Jim and brother Malcolm, together welded the skeletal framework
at their workshop BPM Auto's Moody Lane, Pyewipe. I began work on building up the
overall shape, but it was less than 6 weeks later when John contacted me to say his
Mum Gladys was poorly.
Son John says ' She will still see it from where she is' I continued working on it,
entirely hand crafted, the sculpture is now complete. It has been a wonderful experience
and an absolute pleasure to create. My sincere hope is, that once installed, my donkey
statue will be respected and appreciated by both locals and visitors to the resort,
bringing happy memories and joy to many hearts.
A fitting tribute to the memory of dear Gladys and the Donkeys.
The family say it will be a lovely tribute if we can get it sited somewhere prominent
in Cleethorpes for both residents and visitors to enjoy
And here it is - in the most prominent spot in Cleethorpes.
I created my own opportunity - Read how it came about