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News article created on 27 June 2014

Boat gathering to celebrate new Ribble Link sculpture

A flotilla of boats will officially mark the installation of the new sculpture on the Ribble Link on Saturday 28 June.

The flotilla of eight boats will travel down the Millennium Ribble Link at 8.30am to unveil the new sculpture which replaces the ‘Gauging the Ripple’ statue - affectionately known as the ‘Ribble Piddler’.

Together with the Ribble Link Trust we commissioned artist Denis O’Connor of ‘Sculptureworks’ in Derbyshire to design the new metal sculpture which is shaped like a 3m (10ft) high wave topped by a narrow boat. Designed to represent the tidal section of the waterways the sculpture was designed by Denis to highlight the close relationship between the waterways and the boating community.

Focal point

The sculpture has been placed at Lock 1 of the Lancaster Canal, to mark the start of the Ribble Link which, when it was opened in 2002, was the first inland waterway to be built in Britain in nearly 100 years. The Link connects the once-isolated Lancaster Canal to the rest of the 2,000 mile network of canals and rivers.

Steve Higham, enterprise manager at the Canal & River Trust says: “The boat gathering on Saturday will celebrate the new arrival of the sculpture which is a real focal point for the hundreds of boaters who use the link each year and the local community who enjoy a walk along the towpath.”

Fascinated

Cliff Fazackerley, chairman of the Ribble Link Trust, said: “The new sculpture is completely different from the last piece of art we had on the Ribble Link and lots of people are really fascinated by it. The unveiling will bring together everyone who’s been involved with the Ribble Link over the past few years who worked in partnership to ensure a new sculpture was installed to replace the ‘Riddle Piddler’ which marked the building of the link.”