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Shout it out! Sshhh sculpture back in place at The Mere

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Attractions | Published:

There was uproar when Ellesmere's ‘Sshhh’ sculpture had to be taken down at the mere because it had started to decay.

Now the artist who carved it has made a replacement in oak which is now in situ in the Cremone Gardens.

Carved in oak and weighing two tons, the piece, spelling out the word ‘Sshhh’ in large wooden letters, was put in by volunteers using a Manitou tractor donated for the afternoon by a local family.

The original artwork by John Merrill had to be removed last year because the lime wood timber had decayed, so the Ellesmere Scultpture Initative group stepped in.

Trudi Graham, artistic co-ordinator with the group said: “It has been a wonderful community effort. We’d like to say a big thank you to Shaun Burkey and his team at The Mere who have been very supportive, but also to everyone in the community who has helped over the last 10 months, particularly with fund-raising – businesses, organisations and individuals who’ve donated so generously, they have given us great encouragement.

“We’ve had to raise around £3,500 and are still working at that. The new Sshhh in oak should stay in place for decades."

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council chairman and councillor for the Ellesmere Urban division, said: “It is amazing how the original Sshhh sculpture became such a recognised landmark, loved and appreciated by the local community and visitors alike.

"I am delighted to see the replacement sculpture now in situ and would like, on behalf of the community, to offer my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative group, and everyone involved in making this possible. We will now be able to walk to Sshhh for many years to come,”

Forming part of the Ellesmere Sculpture Trail, Sshhh was carved at John Merrill's workshop in Glyn Ceiriog. He was responsible for creating the original sculpture eight years ago after gaining ideas and inspiration from pupils at Ellesmere primary school.

Facebook pictures of the new Sshhh rapidly gained over 300 likes and the sign is proving popular once again with families, and dogs, for selfies.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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