Ownership quest under way in Whaplode’s ‘village with sculptures’

WHOSE SCULPTURES? The Whapplehog was unveiled in the centre of Whaplode by retired pig farmer Stan Hoyes in 1997.  Photo supplied.
WHOSE SCULPTURES? The Whapplehog was unveiled in the centre of Whaplode by retired pig farmer Stan Hoyes in 1997. Photo supplied.

Whaplode Parish Council wants the public’s help to find the owners of up to 12 unique sculptures in the village and Saracen’s Head.

The Whapplehog, a 700lb pot-bellied pig unveiled in 1997, and 11 other pieces of artwork made from steel, stone, wood, brick and cast iron, led to Whaplode being signposted as “A Village With Sculptures.”

But parish councillors are now trying to establish who is responsible for their upkeep, insurance and any repairs that are needed.

A parish council spokesman said: “The sculptures created an awful lot of interest when they were put in place originally.

“But there is an issue regarding current ownership, who is going to keep them in a good state and who is going to be responsible when they are damaged.

“There are also issues of whether they are to be insured, the cost of insuring them and who is going to pay for it.”

These sculptures were something I did for the community when I could have quite easily kept them in my own garden

Stan Hoyes, of Whaplode

Some of the sculptures were originally the idea of retired pig farmer and ex-parish councillor Stan Hoyes (79) who saw them as a way of giving something back to the village where he has lived all his life.

Speaking to our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press in 2002, Mr Hoyes said: “These sculptures were something I did for the community when I could have quite easily kept them in my own garden.

“Even though some were commissioned, they have still cost me thousands of pounds, both in money and time.

“Some of the sculptures took as long as five months to complete, but I was trying to do something for the area.”

Other sculptures apart from the Whapplehog include the steel How Does Your Garden Grow and Golden Harvest, both near St Mary’s Church, Whaplode, and Village and Visitors, outside Saracen’s Head Village Hall.

The spokesman said: “We never really clarified whether Mr Hoyes wanted the parish council to take the sculptures over or not.

“The council doesn’t have responsibility for all of them, by any means, and the problem will occur when one of them is damaged.

“Things usually come back to the parish council so we have decided to start clarifying who is responsible for them, who is going to arrange for any repairs to be carried out and who is going to pay.”