Article by Guy Bell: Fairytales and fantasy took over at Lake Meadows for the unveiling of the park's newest attractions.
Sculptor extraordinaire Neil Bruce was on hand to reveal the huge dragon and wizard that have both been a work in progress for two years.
Jonny Garlick, chairman of the Friends of Lake Meadows, braved the pouring rain in Billericay to host the grand launch.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Garlick"]It was a really wonderful time and it was a real culmination of a lot of hard work on everybody's part and with it all coming together. It was a celebration of four things really because we had the wizard and the dragon, then we had the opening of the information centre and we had a storybook published. We put stuff around the park and it was a story about the dragon and wizard with some dragon eggs and the wizard lost his umbrella. I had to put a yellow umbrella up in a tree and I almost killed myself.[/quote]
The sculptures came after two years of hard work.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Garlick"]I spoke to the guy who had the chainsaw when a tree had fallen down in 2013 and asked him not to do anything. That allowed us to go to the public with a questionnaire and ask them what they wanted. We had around 100 people who came back and they mainly wanted the dragon and the wizard.[/quote]
The statues were funded by the Communities Initiative Fund and also making an appearance at the unveiling of the statues was Essex County Council vice-chairman John Aldridge.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Garlick"]There was a lot going on and it was a great turn out from everyone, including John Aldridge and Neil Bruce. John is just a lovely chap and he is so enthusiastic and it was great to have his help to unveil the statues.[/quote]
The family park has had an action-packed first half to the year, with new scarecrows taking their place among the trees and a boat race giving the competitive folk of Billericay a chance to shine.
But Lake Meadows is continuing with a number of exciting projects this summer.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Garlick"]There will be more going on, with gym equipment that will hopefully be assembled this week. That will be good because I haven't stopped eating and I can get rid of my belly and do a before and after shot for when I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. We have the Wildflower Meadow coming up this summer and we have the scarecrows here, which are hopefully helping stop the birds from eating everything.[/quote]
Article and images by Billericay Gazette
Article by Guy Bell, image Billericay Gazette