Matchstick man is set to welcome holidaymakers

Tribute: Apprentices from WEC Group working on the statue
Tribute: Apprentices from WEC Group working on the statue
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A matchstick man and his dog are set to give visitors a welcome next week as a tribute to one of Wyre’s most famous holidaymakers.

Villagers are being urged to attend the unveiling of a new statue visitor attraction at the ferry slipway at Knott End.

The design is fantastic and it is great that the project has been carried out by apprentices

The statue has been created by apprentices at engineering and fabrication company WEC Group in tribute to Lancashire artist LS Lowry.

The work celebrates Lowry’s famously painted matchstick man and his dog, included in several of his works.

It will be unveiled to visitors for the first time at a ceremony on Friday at 2pm which has been organised by Preesall Town Council in association with Wyre Council.

The statue will sit on the town’s ferry slip site where the artist created some of his acclaimed work during summer stays at the seaside village.

Apprentices at WEC Group’s award-winning training academy in Darwen have created the statue, which has been designed in stainless steel and will stand more than 5ft tall.

The project has been overseen by Wyre local Tom Elliot, divisional manager at WEC Group’s m-tec arm, which specialises in architectural metalwork fabrication.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile jobs m-tec has carried out.

They include a stunning stainless steel arch war memorial honouring those who served in the Great War, which was officially opened by Prince Harry in Folkestone last year.

The £5,000 project has been funded by Preesall Town Council and Wyre Council.

The Mayor of Preesall Philip Orme and his deputy Gordon McCann visited WEC Group’s training academy to see the statue taking shape and have worked closely on the project with the company.

The mayor said: “The design is fantastic and it is great that the project has been carried out by apprentices.

“The idea is to get more people into the village and to give them something to look at.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing the completed work.”

Tom Elliot said: “We hope a lot of local people will show up to the grand unveiling as it is a significant part of the area’s history.

“It’s fantastic to be working on a local project and to be creating a piece of work honouring a true Northern genius.”

LS Lowry is said to have often stayed in the boarding houses on the front in Knott End and used the ferry slip in several of his paintings famously known as ‘The Ferry Slip at Knott End’ and ‘The Lunevale’.