Rock on Bigger Bertie!

Tony Dew
Tony Dew

A RECORD-BREAKING toy is set to ‘rock’ an international audience after going on display in London this week.

The world biggest rocking horse, which has been painstakingly hand-crafted by Tony Dew at the Rocking Horse Shop in Fangfoss, will take centre stage at the WorldSkills competition in the capital.

The local firm was commissioned to create the horse, which stands at more than 14ft high, 5ft 8” wide and more than 28ft long.

He has been named Bigger Bertie, after Mr Dew broke his own record having sculpted 12 ft-high Big Bertie last year.

“Designing and making Bigger Bertie has been an extremely satisfying project and, as I say to everyone, ‘Bigger Bertie Rocks!’

Work on the big beast began eight weeks ago, although there have been months of planning. Consisting over 40 sections of marine plywood, the head was first to be carved , before the body and legs. With the rockers being the largest section to create, they were the final pieces produced.

Held at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands, WorldSkills will see over 150,000 visitors watching 1,000 young competitors compete in various skill areas

Bigger Bertie’s presence is to encourage young people to try their hand at rocking horse carving.

The belly and tail section of the huge horse will be removed and young people will be given the opportunity to carve sections from it.

Mr Dew said: “Carving is great fun and provides an opportunity to be really creative and make things that people really admire. I love to see the sense of achievement on woodworkers’ faces when they make their own rocking horse; they are hand-crafting something that will survive many generations.”

Rocking Horse Shop director Jane Cook added: “We are thrilled to be given this opportunity to take part in such a wonderful event, it will be great to see young adults having the chance to try their hands at carving.”

“So many of our traditional skills have been lost and it is time to bring them back.”

Jane and Tony are expected to return to the East Riding at the weekend with the horse, and are hopeful it can be taken to shows and exhibitions in the future.