These majestic Shire horses and dray will welcome people to Thwaites’ new multi-million pound brewery, head office and stables development in the Ribble Valley.
Sculptor Andrew Kay created the fantastic life-size commission at his workshop on the Lancashire/Cumbrian border, after being commissioned by descendants of Daniel Thwaites, who still run the company after more than 210 years.
Looking to do something representing Thwaites’ brewing history to mark the company’s move to its new site in Mellor Brook, the sculpture has been created in memory of past chairman and president of Thwaites Brewery, John Yerburgh, who died aged 91 in 2014. John was past president of the Shire Horse Society.
“I normally only create sculpture based on living subjects, so it was quite a challenge to make the dray wagon in the same organic style as the Shires,” said Andrew, whose wildlife sculptures can be seen in stately homes and mansions around the world.
“We’ve been discussing this commission for over a year and usually with such a big job I then have to transport it thousands of miles to its final home, so on this occasion it’s great to know it will be on show nearby in the North. Working with the Thwaites team has been great, they knew exactly what they wanted and I may as well admit that I’m rather partial to a pint of Thwaites beer as well” he said.
The 2.5 ton sculpture is made from 600 pieces of steel and measures eight feet long by 3.8m high. The company’s Shire Horses were famously used to deliver beer to local alehouses and still make appearances at events and charity galas.