News

SWAN SOUVENIRS - PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!
The fantastic range of Swan souvenirs is now available for bargain basement prices!  The t-shirts, posters, mugs, the book of the event, children's colouring books, etc make fantastic presents.

Please email danny@swansofwells.com or phone 07872 691664 to place your order, either for collection or posting in time for Christmas.

SWANS OF WELLS VIDEO
A huge thank you to SJ at team at Whitespace Productions for creating the fabulous Swans of Wells video short, which can be viewed online

Many thanks to Probusiness accountants in Wells, for very kindly sponsoring the video production.  It's a wonderful visual souvenir of the popular Swans of Wells 2012 public art event, which attracted thousands of visitors to England's smallest city last summer and raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

SWANS OF WELLS GRANTS
The deadline for applying for Swans of Wells grants for local charities and good causes was Wednesday 31st October.  The Swans of Wells Trust will be meeting later this month to assess the applications and the Swans of Wells grant awards will be made in February.

FLOCKING TO THE SWANS OF WELLS WEBSITE
The popularity of the Swans of Wells event is reflected the latest website viewing statistics.  There have now been over 85,000 page views since the start of the project, as people keep up to date with the latest swan news and check out the shop page for Swan souvenirs, which are also available at www.myhigh.st.  Scroll down their headings on the left side of the page and click on Swans of Wells. 

MINI-SWANNERY
It's not often that a designer of superyachts is asked to paint a swan, but Bath artist and freelance yacht interior designer Helena Howcroft not only painted a full-size swan for Stoberry Lettings in Wells, but also a flock of 15 mini-swans!  These were commissioned by swan fans keen to have a beautifully painted "Queen of Hearts" in their homes, or for Christmas presents.  A perfect gift for superyacht owners everywhere!


SWANS LAND IN NEW TERRITORIES
Fontanelatto also has a stunning moat!
The giant flock of 60 Swans of Wells sculptures snapped up by eager swan fans at the Swansong charity auction at the Bishop's Palace in September, have now flown the nest and landed in new locations in and around Wells, Glastonbury, Wedmore, Bristol, Dorset, Kent and Wells' twin city of Fontanelatto, near Parma in Northern Italy.

The great news for swan fans is that many of the stunning swan sculptures are still on public display in and around Wells. Please see below for details:

MARY FLIES HOME

Millfield Prep School has welcomed a new resident as Mary the swan landed in the school grounds after Millfield's successful bid at the Swansong charity auction. 

Mary, named after Mary Bignal Rand, a former Millfield pupil and Wells resident who won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, celebrates the school’s impressive Olympian-producing record.

The Olympic-themed swan was decorated at the end of the summer term by Year 6 pupils with the help of local artists Jessika Short and Lisa Wooding and was displayed in the market square in Wells over the summer. 

The real-life Mary met her namesake when she returned to the UK from her home in the United States to receive her Freedom of the City.  Seen here with the 2012 Olympic Torch releasing 60 balloons to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee.  Mary kindly signed a copy of this photograph which will soon be on display at Millfield.
 
ARRIVEDERCI SCRUM-P 

Scrum-P, the swan sponsored by the Wells Rugby Football Club and the Cheddar Valley Inn, was bought at the charity auction by Wells' twin city of Fontanellato



Scrum-P was spotted by the delegation from Fontanellato on their trip to Wells in mid-September, when they visited the Swansong Auction Preview weekend in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace.  They were so impressed by the fabulous flock that they left a bid for the rugby-themed swan at the charity auction and are delighted to be his proud new owners.

Scrum-P was boxed up ready for travel by the Swans of Wells team and has now landed in his new home in the beautiful city near Parma in Northern Italy. 

Ciao Scrum-P, we miss you already!

HOT FUZZ DONATED BACK TO WELLS POLICE STATION
The iconic black comedy film, Hot Fuzz, directed by Edgar Wright, who grew up in Wells, was represented by the eye-catching 'Hot Fuzz' swan.

PCSOs Alasdair Scriven and Linda Vincent, Chief Superintendent
Nikki Watson, PC Darren Pearson, Chief Inspector
Richard Corrigan, PC Janice Bishop and PCSO Donna
President greet the returning Hot Fuzz swan
Painted by artist John Gould and sponsored by the producers of the film, Working Title Films, Hot Fuzz became an iconic figure in his own right this summer. 

Decorated as Swan'geant Nicholas Angel, the arresting sight of the 5ft swan sculpture welcomed visitors to Wells from his prime spot outside Wells Police Station and was enjoyed by thousands of swan fans of all ages over the course of the summer.

The excellent news is that the mystery phone bidder at the Swansong charity auction was the co-Chairman of Working Title Films, who made the winning bid for Hot Fuzz and has very generously donated the swan back to Wells Police station! 

Please see the front page of the Wells Journal for more details

Hot Fuzz film director Edgar Wright sent a message to the Swans of Wells team just before the auction saying:  "I am delighted that the Hot Fuzz swan is being auctioned in my home town of Wells Somerset. I spent much of my childhood a mere ten minute walk from the Bishop's Palace. Coming back to shoot my film in my old stomping ground was one of the highlights of my life and one of the greatest pleasures of the movie for me was seeing Wells up on the big screen.  So please bid on this magnificent Hot Fuzz swan. But do be warned. If you turn your back on it, it could strike!"

GUINEVERE SAVED FOR THE CITY

The fabulous swan sculpture 'Guinevere - She Built a Nest of Silver Leaves' become such a familiar sight this summer, floating on her beautiful silver nest, created by award-winning sculptor Ian Marlow, that many residents of Wells just couldn't bear to see her go.

A group of dedicated Wells swan fans, led by Pamela Morris and John Cook, raised an incredible £9,000 to buy Guinevere at the auction and to keep her floating on the Bishop's Palace moat.  Amidst emotional scenes and fierce bidding at the auction, the Wells consortium were finally successful, making the winning bid, and ensuring that Guinevere will welcome visitors to the 800 year old Bishop's Palace for many years to come.

Bishop Peter said: "I am delighted that the swan will stay with the palace and I thank the people of Wells for this remarkable gesture."


MORE SWANS - ON PUBLIC DISPLAY IN AND AROUND WELLS....


Swan About Town, painted by Bath artist Charlotte Moore, which has now been re-installed in his original position outside Beah Restaurant just off the Union Street car park.  The swan was sponsored by Ivor Tetley from T G Pollard Solicitors in Wells, who bought him at the charity auction at the Bishop's Palace and has kindly decided to display him in the centre of Wells, where swan fans and visitors to the city can continue to enjoy his fine feathered form. 

The beautiful white swan, Narcissa, which was sponsored by the Rock House Dental Practice in Wells and displayed outside their premises near St Cuthberts Church, was bought at auction by Wells building company, Graham Building and Developments.  Narcissa will be on display this weekend at their building development at The Levels, St Mary's Road, Meare.

The Queen of Hearts, sponsored by Stoberry Lettings, was bought at auction by a Wells resident who has kindly loaned the swan back to its sponsors where she is now on display in the window of Stoberry Lettings, opposite St Cuthbert's Church, along with a mini-swan decorated by the swan's artist, the interior designer Helena Howcroft from Bath.

Oscar, decorated with wonderfully detailed images of the film world, with fabulous images of The Queen and her corgis at the cinema, will be heading back to his sponsors, the Wells Film Centre as he was bought at the charity auction by the cinema's owner, Derek Cooper.

The Swan Hotel bought their swan, Majesty, painted by Wellow artist Emma Rose, which had been displayed this summer on the hotel terrace opposite Wells Cathedral.

Gibbons, decorated by Joshua and Alice from Wells Cathedral School and sponsored by the school, was bought live at the auction by head teacher, Elizabeth Cairncross.  The name Gibbons relates to the composer rather than the monkey!

Jubilee, which was painted by Maria Silmon and sponsored by Wedmore Village has been snapped up by Glastonbury Reclamation, who also bought Swanderwood, painted by artist Lila Streether and originally sponsored by Underwood Business Park.

Kay Vaged, the Wookey Hole Cheese Witch, which was created by Tanys Pullin and sponsored by Ford Farm, will shortly be flying off on her broomstick to Wells Reclamation.  Why not combine an outing to see these fabulous swan sculptures whilst browsing thousands of fascinating artifacts for your home and garden.

Mary, sponsored by Millfield Prep School and decorated by artists Jessika Short and Lisa Wooding, with Year 6 pupils, as a celebration of Wells Olympic athlete Mary Rand, will shortly be sprinting back to the school where she will be displayed in their sculpture garden.

The patriotic Lizzie, painted by Hope Hayward, which was displayed outside Wells Cathedral School, will soon be heading for Great Shakes in Heritage Courtyard, off Sadler Street in Wells, where she'll be chilling in the foyer.  Perhaps they'll name a milkshake after her!

Avalon, the swan sponsored by Wells Leisure Centre and painted by Bristol artist Sean Sepr, will be setting up a new territory at the Crossway Hotel in North Wootton, where he can enjoy fabulous views of the Glastonbury Tor and the Avalon vales....

Of those swanning off to private homes, Bohemian Rhapsody will be a new topic of conversation at dinner parties as she takes up residence in the dining room of her buyer's house in Kent; Sundari will be nesting in a large bedroom in Coxley, Naomi will be displayed in the garden of her sponsor in Wells and the fabulous legal swan,Up Before the Beak will be displayed at the home of a Justice of the Peace! 

A CHANCE TO WIN VICTORIA SPONGE-CAKE!

A raffle is about to be launched by the sponsor of the fantastically detailed, food-themed swan, Victoria Sponge-Cake, painted by Bath artist Samuel Lindup and displayed inside Cook, the delicious frozen food shop in Broad St, Wells, during the summer. 

Victoria was bought at auction by Brett from Cook, who has decided to give Wells residents and visitors the chance of owning Victoria Sponge-Cake for the price of a £2 raffle ticket!

Brett will be launching a raffle next week, with tickets at £2 each or 5 for £8.

One lucky winner will become the proud owner of this fabulous 5ft swan sculpture, adorned with hundreds of individual, hand-painted images of traditional British food, from cupcakes and Queen's Silver Jubilee teapots to baked beans on toast.  Tea-time will never be the same again for the lucky winners, so watch this space or visit Cook in Wells for further details.

News of other swan buyers and swan locations will be uploaded here shortly...
 
SWANS OF WELLS CHARITY AUCTION - THE FLOCK FLIES THE NEST
Bishop Peter, with Swans of Wells originator Danny Unwin (centre),
swan auctioneers Peter Wicks and Allen Mechen from McCubbing & Redfern 
& Redfern and BBC Homes Under the Hammer presenter Martin Roberts
 
The black tie auction dinner held in a giant marquee in the grounds of the 800 year old Bishop's Palace in Wells on Saturday 29th September was a fantastic success, resulting in the successful sale of all 60 swans, £111,500 of bids and many very happy swan fans!

Hundreds of bids were received from guests at the auction, by phone, absentee bids and live online via www.i-bidder.com.  Hundreds of swan fans watched the auction live from the comfort of their homes and some even held Swan Auction parties, with the live picture up on the TV, with some bidding live for swans at the same time!

Martin Roberts, presenter of the BBC's Homes Under the Hammer, did a fantastic job of auctioning the flock with fellow swan auctioneers Peter Wicks and Sarah and Allen Mechen from McCubbing & Redfern. We'd like to thank them very much indeed for so generously donating their time and expertise to helping raise funds for local projects and charities.

A huge thank you to Seb, Jamie and the fantastic team at Harbour & Jones, the Bishop's Palace caterers, who provided such a fabulous dinner for 220 guetss, beautifully presented, fantastically organised and a great support in the planning for the event. 

Harbour & Jones catering staff
were excellent....
The location, in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace, could not have been bettered and looked stunning with the uplighting and other effects so excellent and professionally provided by Charlie and the team at the Storm Productions Group.

Swan-shaped meringue nests - the only time you're allowed
to eat swan for dinner!
All net profits from the Swans of Wells 2012 event will be donated to Wells charities. The talented team of Swans of Wells artists will receive 25% of the sale price of their swans as payment for their work, and event costs, including those of the auction and auction preview weekend will be taken into account.  The total amount being donated to the charities will be announced in due course.
The fabulous flock of 60 swans were on display at the Swans of Wells auction for the last time, before
flying the nest and heading off to new territories across Somerset and beyond....

SWANS OF WELLS GRANT APPLICATIONS

Good causes have a chance to apply for a grant from the money raised by the sale of the Swans of Wells sculptures.

The criteria for the grants are:

1. Only good causes based in the city of Wells are eligible.
2. Political, religious and commercial organisations are not eligible for grants.
3. The maximum grant you can apply for is £5,000. The minimum is £100.
4. Closing date for applications is October 31, 2012.
5. The successful applications for grants will be agreed by the trustees of the Swans of Wells.
Their decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Application forms can be requested by email from mail@probusinessuk.com; by telephone on 01749 677989 (please ask for Jane or Dominic); or by post from: Jane Bowe, Swans of Wells Applications, St Lawrence Lodge, 37 Chamberlain Street, Wells BA5 2PQ.

SWANDERER RAFFLE

The draw for the Swans of Wells raffle to win The Swanderer and other prizes, was held at the Wells Journal and all of the main winners were local swan fans based in Wells, with runners up, who won Swans of Wells posters, based in Bristol, Shepton Mallet and Italy!

For further details please see the Wells Journal article by clicking here.

SWANSONG AUCTION PREVIEW WEEKEND

The auction preview weekend was an enormous success, with over 5,000 swan fans flocking  to the ancient Bishop's Palace in Wells to see all 61 swans  gathered together for the first and last time before the charity auction on Saturday week.

The swans were displayed in a mini-trail around the beautiful grounds of the Bishop's Palace for fans of the fabulous flock to say their final farewells before the Swans of Wells charity auction.
The flock gather on the lawn for the media photocall, which was attended by the Press Association (photos were the BBC UK's Big Picture of the day), the Western Daily Press, the Wells Journal, plus freelance journalists and photographers.  BBC Points West filmed the event on Saturday, with news stories on BBC Radio Bristol, ITV news and BBC Somerset Sound.
 
More photos of the event will be posted shortly.

SWANS OF WELLS BOOK


 

The Swans of Wells book, with a fantastic collection of behind the scenes photos of the amazing public art event, is now on sale at Tesco and Waterstones in Wells.

The book features photos of swans out on location in and around Wells, along with close ups of the artwork, such as the fabulous Queen and corgis in the cinema image on Oscar, the swan painted by John Gould and sponsored by the Wells Film Centre & Cinema.

The book also features all 60 swans and the original Swans trail map.  A fantastic record of the event and something that will grace coffee tables across Wells and beyond for years.  On sale for £8.


SWANS OF WELLS - PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION
 
The winner of the Over 17's category of the Swans of Wells/Royal Photographic Society competition was Jenny Short from Wells, with her photo of Guinevere and reflection on the Bishop's Palace moat. The Royal Photographic Society kindly offered her a prize of a year's membership plus a free photographic workshop worth £100 .
 
Winner of the Under 16's category was Maddie Odam, also from Wells. Her close-up photo of a mini-swan meeting her favourite swan, SwanShape, caught the judges' eye and has won her a one-to-one wire sculpture workshop with swan artist Fiona Campbell and selection of Swans of Wells souvenirs.
 
Wire workshop prize for Maddie Odam, winner of the U16's
 
 
Under 10's
The winner of the Under 10's age range was Oscar Byles, whose low angle shot of the Queen of Hearts in front of St Cuthbert's Church showed was a good example of choosing an angle that adds drama to the photograph.Oscar wins some Swans of Wells goodies and a Royal Photographic Society certificate.
 

Oscar Byles with The Swanster

SWANDERER RAFFLE TICKETS - LUCKY WINNERS!

The draw for the Swanderer took place at the Wells Journal on Monday 24th September and the main prize - the full-size, Swans of Wells sculpture, 'The Swanderer', was won by a Wells resident.

Details of the winners will be published in The Wells Journal and will be available here shortly.

Other prizes included a West Country hamper kindly provided by the Pumpkin Deli in Wedmore, a £200 voucher to spend at Vision Express in Wells (spectacular!), a beautiful painting by the fabulous Glastonbury artist Maria Silmon, a stunning white marble Bhuddah sculpted by talented artist and sculptress Laura Lian, plus a selection of Swan souvenirs.
 











SWANS IN 3-D!

A fantastic swan related event took place in Wells recently at the Wells Film Centre.  Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D was a great success.  A cheque for £780 was very kindly donated to the Swans of Wells charities by Derek Cooper, the owner of the Film Centre, with funds also going to the Film Centre's own charities.

Many thanks to Derek Cooper for organising such a great event - men in tutus in 3D were almost certainly a first for Wells!

For further information about what's on at the Film Centre, visit www.wellsfilmcentre.co.uk, or call 01749 673195 during cinema hours - Enjoy!
 
MINI-SWANS PROVING POPULAR!
Danny Unwin, sculptor Alexander Sasin and Arcus artist Ruth Ames-White with mini-swans






















The patter of tiny feet can be heard in Wells as the mini-swans landed in the city.

Hand-made from resin by the sculptor of the original large swans, the 16cm long (6 inch) replicas can be bought online at www.myhigh.st

These cute, limited edition baby swans are available for £29.50.   Additional charges apply for p&p.

They have been primed ready for decorating with acrylic paints or you could get creative with mosaics, pieces of fabric, paper, jewels or other 3-D materials.

If you would like to design your own swan, or are looking for the perfect gift for swan fans of all ages, please email sue@swansofwells.com or phone 01225 722763 to place your order.  Mini-swans are available to purchase with PayPal or credit card via www.myhigh.st


AUSTRALIAN RADIO VISITS THE SWANS OF WELLS

Australian Broadcasting presenter Rhianna Patrick, who was in the UK covering interesting non-Olympic stories, visited Wells several times during the Olympics and became a major Swans of Wells fan!
Rhianna, Megan & The Swanster - famous Down Under!

Rhianna had already ticked over 40 swans off her swan trail map before meeting up with event organiser Megan Witty, who took the antipodean swan fan on a mini-tour of city, tracking down some of the remaining swans and recording an interview about the Swans of Wells event.





One of Rhianna's favourite swans was The Swanster - doyouthinkhesaurus! seen here with Megan and Rhianna asking the Swanster about his favourite foods and pastimes....

Aussie listeners were able to tuneinto Swan Cam during the auction, although as the live proceedings were at 0400 Aussie time on Sunday 30th September, it's not clear how many may have stayed awake for the occasion!
 

ONLINE SHOP - www.myhigh.st
 
Guinevere - She Built a Nest of Silver Leaves
Greetings Card, by Ian Marlow ARBS
£2.50
Swans of Wells  souvenirs can now also be bought online and posted to swan fans around the world!

A new local shopping website has just launched in Wells called My High Street, which promotes the sale of local products, which is featuring Swans of Wells souvenirs.

Log onto www.myhigh.st to see a range of lovely swan goodies that have already made their way to swan fans in the USA, Wales, Australia and The Orkneys.  Who knows where else they may end up!
 
 
RUDLOE STONE PLINTHS & LE COUER FIDELE
 
Le Coeur Fidele, one of the most elegant of the flock, graced the beautiful Bishop's Palace moat walk  this summer and has been bought by a swan fan in Bristol.

Le Coeur Fidele was sponsored by Rudloe Stone, the fireplace and stone company in Corsham that made the flock's fabulous reconstituted Bath stone plinths. 

Rudloe Stoneworks was a Swans of Wells event sponsor and also provided the plinths for the Lions of Bath 2010 project, which raised over £65,000 for local Bath charities.
Swan plinth craned out of acid vat - next stage washing off & drilling
The stone plinths are made from an individual mould and then dipped in acid to roughen up the surface to make it non-slip.

 

Holes are then drilled in each plinth to anchor the swans to and these very heavy plinths are then transported to Wells for Ian 'The Swan Wrangler' and Mike and David on the installation team, to attach a member of the flock to!

Some of the plinths will be going with their swans to their new owners across the West Country and beyond...

The latest batch of Rudloe Stoneworks swan plinths
being delivered to the Nest in Wells
Rudloe Stoneworks also makes a lovely range of stone fireplaces, stoves and flagstone flooring and has an excellent showroom between Bath and Corsham.  With loads of different designs, stoves and fireplaces on display -  a great place to visit on a rainy/chilly day!







 




Last Swans of Wells market stall
Swans of Wells bags and postcards sold out in hours!
There will be no more Swans of Wells market stalls now until later in the year, when we may be back for the run up to Christmas.

The Swans of Wells t-shirts, bags, books, mini-swans, posters, children's colouring books, polo shirts, silver necklaces, swan coasters, fridge magnets and wristbands will make excellent Christmas presents and stocking fillers, so we hope to be back in the Market Place at the end of November. 

The official Swans of Wells 2012 book, featuring hundreds of photos and behind-the-scenes stories, is now on sale in Tesco, Tincknell Country Store and Waterstones, along with a range of other swan souvenirs, which are also available for home delivery at www.myhigh.st.

Enjoy!
 
 
 
 

Swans of Wells posters - £6

Lovely, glossy posters featuring all 60 swans in the flock, the glossy 70cm x 50cm posters are available from the Swans of Wells market stall in Wells on Saturdays and from Tesco, Wells.

Perfect for gifts and for framing! The colourful and dramatic posters are now the bargain price of £6.00


The Swans of Wells posters featuring the whole flock (apart from The Swanderer, who was off on his travels at the time...) is now on sale at Tesco and the Swans of Wells market stall on Saturday

Other stockists
Tesco Wells is also kindly stocking swan souvenirs, as is Tincknell Country Store, with the beautiful Swans of Wells silver necklaces available from The Bishop's Palace shop.
 
Please see the Shop Page of this website for further details.

PHOTOS & COMMENTS WELCOME
Up Before the Beak, sponsored by Harris & Harris solicitors
attracts attention in his prime spot in the Market Place
Please post your photos on the Swans of Wells Facebook page or tweet your favourite pix and comments to @swansofwells.  There is also a growing number of swan photos on Flickr.

We'd love to hear which swans you like best and your comments about the event as a whole.  We'll publish the best comments, re-tweet and 'like' etc on Twitter and Facebook, or just email us at info@swansofwells.com to let us know how you enjoyed the Swans of Wells trail around Wells and the Somerset Countryside.




 

SWAN LAKE
Snow Swan watches Swan Lake rehearsal

The Snow Swan was guest of honour at the Ston Easton Hotel for the Covent Garden Dance Company's recent Ballet in the Park event.

Snow Swan welcomed ballet fans and enjoyed her bird's eye view of Tchaikovsky's Black Swan Pas de Deux and The Dying Swan, performed by ballerina Evgenya Koshkinain in a fabulous tutu designed by Karl Lagerfeld!


Wells Olympian Mary Rand meets her namesake, Mary the Swan

Olympian Mary Bignall Rand, the daughter of a chimney sweep, who was born in Wells and attended the local Stoberry Park school before receiving a sporting scholarship to Millfield, visited Wells recently to be awarded the Freedom of the City of  - some 50 years after her record-breaking victory.

Known as Britain's first Olympic golden girl, Mary jumped a world record breaking 6.76 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics to win a gold medal in the long jump.  Mary also won a silver medal in the pentathlon and a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay.

Now living in America, Mary was welcomed to England's smallest city by thousands of well-wishers as she was driven through the streets of Wells in a recreation of her 1964 victory parade.

Mary, members of the Wells City Hariers and Terry Williams, a former British waterski champion who led the campaign for Mary's Freedom of the City, met the Swans of Wells sculptures 'Avalon', sponsored by the Wells Leisure Centre and decorated by Shaun Sepr, and 'Mary', the Olympic-themed swan sponsored by Millfield Prep School and decorated by Year 6 pupils with artists Jessika Short and Lisa Wooding, before releasing 60 balloons in recognition of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Wookey Hole Cheese Witch  
Artist Tanys Pullin creates her magic on
Kay Vaged - the Wookey Hole
Cheese Witch!
Ford Farm, makers of Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar sponsored 'Kay Vaged - The Wookey Hole Cheese Witch', which has now been bought by Wells Reclamation and will soon be back on display on her broomstick!

Ford Farm's multi award-winning Cheddar cheese is matured 200 feet down in the dark Wookey Hole Caves, where the constant temperature helps to create a unique taste that has won awards from all over the world.

Decorated with witches' hat and a huge 'truckle' of cheese, bats, birds and other creatures nestling between her wings by Wells-based artist and co-owner of Ford Farm, Tanys Pullin, Kay Vaged will be casting her swanly spell on visitors as they arrive at the Wells Reclamation Centre.

- Swanderwood takes up residence




Underwood Business Park residents Chalmers of Wells, Kestrel Motor Services and Underwood Car and Commercial, sponsord Swanderwood, which was painted by artist Lila Streether and was displayed at the entrance to the business park on Wookey Hole Road, near her fellow Underwood swan, ShipShape, who has a life-size mouse attached to his head!


- Old MacSwanald
One of the latest swans to join the flock, Old MacSwanald,  was displayed outside The Little Theatre in Chamberlain Street in Wells.


Sponsored by Double-Gate Farm B&B Old MacSwanald landed at The Little Theatre during the very appropriate production of  'Animal Farm', based on the book by George Orwell, which features farm animal characters, including the pigs Napoleon and Snowball and Boxer the horse.

Old MacSwanald's artist Ann Baber, who also painted the dramatic 'Justine' for sponsors Gould & Swayne of Wells,  decorated Old MacSwanald in the theme of the famous children's nursery rhyme, with 8 chickens, 2 chicks, 3 sheep, a frog, dragonfly, cow, 2 rabbits, 28 stooks of corn, a swallow, dog and 2 geese - all against a background of hills, fields,and sky, and topped off by a 3D nest with eggs and a farmer's hat!


SWAN INSTALLATIONS

The Swans of Wells flock was installed in locations all over Wells and beyond, in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Swans were found on the streets, buildings, gardens, roofs and even floating on the Bishop's Palace moat, across England's smallest city and the surrounding Somerset region.  Swans further afield included 'Sparky' on the Wells Road in Glastonbury, 'Jubilee' at the Borough Mall in Wedmore, 'Swansong' at The Swan in Rowberrow and Kay Vaged - The Wookey Hole Cheese Witch, which arrived in a puff of smoke outside the Wookey Hole Caves complete with brookstick and witch's hat!

All of the swans were out on display all summer until approx 3rd September, when artists across the West Country started restoring their works of art to their former glory in time for the Swansong Auction Preview Weekend on 15th & 16th September. 

SWANS OF WELLS TRAIL MAPS 
Swanning around Wells with the trail map, meeting
Bohemian Rhapsody, sponsored by the Queen St traders

Sculpture trail maps were available from outlets across Wells including the Bishop's Palace, Wells Cathedral shop, Wells Museum, Wells Library, The Crown HotelTesco, National Trust, Tincknell Country Store, Cook in Broad St, Twelve Junior Toys, Wells Film Centre, Beah Restaurant, Rock House dental practice, Thatchers Pet Shop, The Pumpkin in Wedmore and The Swan in Rowberrow.

Maps were available for a donation of £1, with all event profits donated to local Wells projects and charities. 


SWANS IN TRAINING 
The new resident swans at The Bishop's Palace in Wells have accepted 'Guinevere' as one of the flock 




The graceful pair of resident birds underwent intensive training to learn how to ring the Palace Gatehouse bell for food - a technique taught to a swan 150 years ago by the daughter of a Victorian Bishop,  that has continued ever since, much to the delight of Palace visitors! The swans didn't exactly taking to it like a duck to water, mainly because the cheeky moat duck residents tended to get to the bread first!
The male swan seems to have flown the nest, leaving just the female to patrol the moat on her own.  Luckily she still has Guinevere for company, but hopefully the male will return to the Palace to see his mate before too long...

FIRST OF THE FLOCK UNVEILED IN WELLS

Royally Dotted & Wells Spotted and Up Before the Beak at the Swans of Wells media launch

The first of the Swans of Wells 2012 sculptures were unveiled at the end of May in front of Wells Cathedral for the event media photocall.

The flock of 25 swans was given an excellent reception by residents and visitors, BBC & ITV news and a number of press photographers including the Western Daily Press and Wells Journal, which gave excellent coverage to the colourful, eye-catching launch in the glorious British sunshine!

Sparks Transport of Glastonbury kindly ferried the flock from Swan HQ to the Cathedral Green





















MEET SOME OF THE FLOCK


BLUE FLAME
Children from the Blue School with "Blue Flame", the swan they decorated for their sponsors Tincknell Fuels

Members of the "Blue Artists" team were chosen for having received the best art results in the school and were asked to come up with design ideas for their swan.  The theme of flames and heat effects were chosen in recognition of their sponsor.

"Blue Flame" was displayed at the Tincknell Fuels HQ in Wookey Hole Road - at the bottom of the Blue School playing fields!




HOT FUZZ
PC Spencer-Scott Page and members of the Wells constabulary were on hand to keep an eye on the flock and to see the transformation of the white swan they had apprehended at the start of the project.

Sponsored by Hot Fuzz film director Edgar Wright and Working Title Films, HOT FUZZ was a fantastic collaboration between 4 different parties and was bought by Working Title and very generously donated back to Wells Police Station where it was displayed during the summer.

The magnificently decorated swan was created in a record-breaking 2 days.  It started with Wells spray artist Steve Slight, who spray-painted its smooth white finish, it was then transported to Bath, where artist John Gould transformed the white sculpture into Simon Pegg's Hot Fuzz character, Sgt Nicholas Angel, with uniform, shades and police car chevrons down the side.  Universal Pictures then kindly emailed the iconic photos from the film for Blue Gecko in Hallatrow, to adorn the swan's wings with the stunning images from this popular black-comedy which was shot in and around Wells, director Edgar Wright's home town!

HOT FUZZ will be displayed outside the Wells Police Station on Glastonbury Road



GIBBONS
Wells Cathedral School pupils Alice and Joshua with "Gibbons" (named after the composer rather than the primate!) dedicated weeks to painting their swan sculpture with beautiful Jubilee and musical images on behalf of their school whilst also studying for their A levels!  Definitely a composition to be proud of. 

Joined by headmaster Charles Cain and the marketing team, Gibbons looked resplendant out amongst the flock on Cathedral Green. 

Gibbons was later installed on a smart stone plinth outside Wells Music School, alongside the Cathedral, where he enjoyed the glorious sounds of music, including his own "Silver Swan" madrigal, which Orlando Gibbons composed in 1620 and included the words:

The silver Swan, who, living, had no Note,
when Death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
Leaning her breast upon the reedy shore,
thus sang her first and last, and sang no more:
"Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes!
More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise."

MILLIE
Millfield's Olympic swimmer Euan Dale

Millie, the swan sponsored by Millfield Prep School, was decorated with an Olympic swimming theme to celebrate the school's incredible sporting achievements.

Millfield Swimming has produced 24 Olympians in its short history and has had a swimmer at every Olympics since 1968 including champions such as Duncan Goodhew, Mark Foster and current swimming coach Euan Dale, a 9-time British national swimming champion who competed in the 2008 Olympics.

Pupils in Year 9 were asked to draw outlines of their hands in their art class, which are being incorporated into the swan's design.  Millie created a big splash with sports fans of all ages in her position on Market Place this summer.

SWAN LEEK
Swans of Wells event sponsors Tesco had two swans in residence at the store in Wells this summer.

Ian, the Deputy Manager, seen here with Swan Leek and BBC 'Homes Under the Hammer' presenter Martin Roberts, who auctioneered the fabulous flock at the Swansong charity auction, was delighted to meet Swan Leek for the first time and to thank his artist Katy Rhodes, who spent weeks perfecting her fabulous fruit and veg-themed sculpture!

Tesco is one of the main stockists of a range of Swans of Wells souvenirs, including t-shirts, posters, mugs, colouring books and the Swan sculpture trail maps.


MORE PHOTOS - For more photos of the launch see the Wells People website.


SWANS ON THE OLYMPIC TORCH ROUTE





































Swans of Wells sculptures joined the crowds on the Olympic Torch route in Wells as it passed through England's smallest city en route to the Olympic Stadium in London. It was a beautiful sunny day and a fabulous, festive atmosphere as thousands gathered to see the Olympic torch pass through the city, overlooked by the stunning, historic Cathedral.

One of the Olympic Torchbearers, Lisa Darby, stopped to meet 'The People's Swan' by the Abbey and signed her name on his head to mark the day for posterity.

Union Jacks  waved and people were delighted by the giant swans scattered around the Olympic torch route, some of which will be gracing the streets of Wells and the surrounding Somerset countryside again very soon.


















"Protect the Precious", the swan sponsored by Higos Insurance and painted by Bath ceramicist Julia Davey, looked magnificent in the sunshine and took pride of place on the route, where she soon gained a flock of admirers.










































Once the crowds had dispersed, swan fans stopped to sign the People's Swan, and to pose with "Gloria", a 1960's themed swan sponsored by Unwins Funeral Directors (sponsor Danny Unwin seen here with the Wells Town Crier), which was positioned at the end of Sadler Street.

ARCHIVE NEWS
See previous news below that we thought you may still enjoy....


HOT FUZZ SWAN FINALLY APPREHENDED! 



















The Director and production company of the iconic film 'Hot Fuzz', which was filmed in Wells and whose director, Edgar Wright, went to the Blue School in the city, have sponsored one of the Swans of Wells sculptures, known as HOT FUZZ!

The real life Wells constabulary were on hand to apprehend this new member of the Flying Squad that they found wandering around the city, which was taken to the Swans' Nest in Wells, in readiness for his decoration.  HOT FUZZ will take pride of place outside the Wells Police Station on the Glastonbury Road this summer, where a close eye can be kept on his avian antics!

Hot Fuzz film fans will be flocking to the city to see him - be prepared for a fabulous celebration of iconic action-packed scenes from the movie, featuring actors Simon PeggNick Frost, Timothy Dalton and the cast adorning his fabulous features! 
Edgar emailed from Hollywod, where he's filming with Johnny Depp, saying;  "The escaped swan sub plot in Hot Fuzz came from a real anecdote from the Wells Constabulary, therefore it is only fitting that this highly dangerous bird should be let loose on to the streets of our county once again.  Be careful: He could break a man's arm. Or blow up a man's house."

HOT FUZZ and the rest of his mates, will be out on display for three months this summer, from the Queen's Jubilee weekend on 2nd June to early September and will then be gathered together in one giant flock at the Bishop's Palace for the Swansong Auction preview weekend on 15/16th September, before the Swans of Wells 2012 charity auction on 29th September.


















Swans return to the nest 
The first of the decorated swans are now starting to be returned to the Swans' Nest in Wells, where the flock will gather in size until 28th May, when they will start being installed on the streets of Wells.  Most of the swans should be out on display in time to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend on 2nd & 3rd June.

There is a fantastic range of artwork, from mosaics to fine art, to swans with some very interesting attachments and some wonderful surprise swans, which will soon be the talk of the town....

The quality of the artwork is stunning and we are sure thousands of residents and visitors to Wells will have a wonderful time this summer, following their Swans of Wells 2012 sculpture trail maps, which will take them on a wild-swan-chase across Wells and the surrounding Somerset countryside to see all of the fabulous, contemporary art sculptures.

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane? 
The things people keep in their sheds these days!

Artist Helena Howcroft is painting a swan for Stoberry Lettings in Wells, but found her front door wasn't big enough for the swan to fit through, so is painting him in a shed at the bottom of her garden! 
Stoberry Park School will soon be helping to add the finishing touches to this swan, which will be displayed near St Cuthberts Church, opposite the Stoberry Lettings office.


Bird Bath!

Staff at the car wash in Wells were somewhat surprised to see a car pulling in for a top-to-toe spruce up with a rather unusual passenger on the roof!

The swan was en-route to an artist in Bath, but as the car needed a bit of a spring clean, the swan came along for the ride!

Without further ado, the lads in the car wash were soaping, polishing and waxing both the car and the swan, which arrived at its destination looking pristine and caused something of a sensation as it was driven through the streets of the World Heritage city!
 












Going, Going, Swan...only 2 swans left! 
58 of the 60 Swans of Wells sculptures have now been sponsored by businesses and organisations across the West Country, leaving only 2 of the magnificent swan sculptures left.  Anyone who might like to join the fabulous flock of Swans of Wells 'Swansors' should call the Swan Team as soon as possible to reserve a swan before they all fly off into the sunset!

Swans flock to West Country artists' studios
Swan sculptures have been delivered to artists' studios in Bath, Bristol, Wells, Wedmore, Weston super Mare and one has even made its way up to Chester. Whilst most swans are delivered in the smart new Swans of Wells van, one was seen swanning through Wells on the roof of his artist's car! (see below for photos)

The once identical blank sculptures are now being transformed into an incredible array of beautiful designs - some created from mosaics, others adorned with glass, jewels and crowns, some dramatic and eye-catching, others quirky and humorous and many just beautifully painted with a stunning range of artwork. 

Following the Swans of Wells 2012 sculpture trail will be a wonderful way of spending the summer, admiring the fabulous flock of contemporary art sculptures whilst also exploring the medieval, cathedral city of Wells and the beautiful Somerset countryside.

Swans on stage
....
The Swans of Wells team was invited to the International Visit Somerset Conference in the beautiful village of Dunster on Friday. The smart new Ford Transit arrived with three of the 5ft swan sculptures, two of which graced the stage and the third, The People's Swan, entertained delegates during the coffee breaks as they signed their names on his wings whilst enjoying the sunshine outside the Dunster's beautiful Tithe Barn.

John Turner, Vice Chair of Visit Somerset, seen here adding his cygnet-ure to The People's Swan, revealed some of the exciting events coming soon to Somerset....
 
Transit of swans!
These include a Hollywood movie about the legend of Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus, who is said to have planted the holy Glastonbury thorn tree and started Christianity in Britain, to a very exciting public art event featuring 60 giant swans, which will form an eye-catching, art trail around Somerset this summer.  Sounds familiar!

'The People's Swan' lands in Wells Market Day in Wells is always a wonderful spectacle, and last weekend the Town Crier alerted market-goers to what must be a first for Wells Market - the arrival of a giant swan on a skateboard!

Known as "The People's Swan", the streamlined silver bird - one of the flock of 60 Swans of Wells sculptures, took up position in the bustling Market Place, where several hundred members of the public drew Queen's Diamond Jubilee images onto the wings of the swan for a donation of £1 and then added their signatures to its fine, avian contours.

"The People's Swan" has been sprayed a glittering 'Diamond Silver' by Wells artist Steve Slight at Joeby's Airbrush Art and children flocked to draw royal crowns, castles and corgis, using the pre-made stencils.By paying £1 each to sign the sculpture, The People's Swan is effectively being sponsored by the People of Wells. 

Queen's Diamond Jubilee logoOnce 950 signatures have been added, the silver swan will join the rest of the flock on the public art trail around Wells, before being auctioned to raise funds for local Wells charities.

The People's Swan will be at the May Day celebrations in the Market Place on 7th May, so why not become a 1/950th sponsor of a Swans of Wells sculpture and add your own Diamond Jubilee drawings and signatures to our fine-feathered friend!

Transit of Swans - A very big thanks to Allen Ford of Bath, for very generously loaning the Swans of Wells team a gleaming, brand new Ford Transit to transport the flock around Wells this summer!   The photo of Ford's Gary Milkens, with the van and blank swan scultpure in front of Wells Cathedral will soon be seen in the trade press and elsewhere across Europe, with its fabulous livery designed by Philip Jansseune, who also created the Swans of Wells logo, website and is working on a range of Swans of Wells  publications.
The 'Swans in Transit' van will soon become a  familiar sight around Wells as it ferries blank swans to artists, collects their decorated swans and then installs them onthe street of Wells and surrounding area from 28th May.  Swans will be back in transit as they are rounded up again in early September for the Swansong Auction Preview weekend at the Bishop's Palace on 15/16 September and then taken to the charity auction.  Swans will then be delivered to their lucky new owners and, after 7 months of swan-ferrying, the Transit will be delivered back to Allen Ford, Swans of Wells livery stripped off and then sold to someone who may well be unaware of their van's illustrious history!

Wells Life & Somerset Life

A photo of one of the Swans of Wells sculptures in front of Wells Cathedral features on the front cover of this month's Diamond Jubilee edition of Wells Life magazine, and the current issue of Somerset Life also features the public art event - news of the flock is travelling far and wide!




Swanning around Bath
....
Many thanks to artist John Gould for sending in photos of his swan en route to his studio in Bath.  There was much pointing and jaw dropping as the beautiful winged sculpture was seen swanning serenely through the World Heritage City

John's swan is sponsored by the Wells Film Centre and will become a familiar sight to film-goers as they arrive at the Princes Road venue this summer.
           

New Additions to the Flock 
A freshly hatched batch of swans has arrived at the 'Swans Nest' in Wells.  The 5ft fibreglass flock will  soon be winging its way to artists' studios across the West Country, where they will be transformed into contemporary works of art. 

Swans of Wells 2012 sponsors Sparks Transport of Glastonbury, collected the sculptures from their birth places in Yorkshire and North Wales and the mini-flock emerged from the gleaming, giant artic none the worse for wear after their long journey!

Tesco joins the Swans of Wells 2012 flock as Event Sponsor
We are delighted to welcome Tesco as the first Event Sponsors of the Swans of Wells 2012 public art event.

The Tesco supermarket in Wells, which welcomes 25,000 customers a week through its doors, took delivery of two of the majestic swan sculptures, much to the amazement of shoppers!

The 5ft fibreglass swans arrived by truck and were wheeled on shopping trolleys to take pride of place in front of the store with Tesco staff and manager Kate Thomas for their photo for the Wells Journal.

The swans will shortly be decorated by talented West Country artists and will then take pride of place at the Wells supermarket from the end of May until early September.

Artists start decorating the flock!Two of our Swans of Wells sponsors are decorating their own sculptures. 


Award-winning jewellery designer Erica Sharpe, who designed a series of swan jewellery and will soon be adding a fabulous 'Swans of Wells' necklace to the collection, recently collected her 5ft fibreglass sculpture from the 'Swans' Nest' in Wells and whisked it off to her workshop in Wedmore.  Erica's swan design will involve both paint and jewel-like mosaics and we are looking forward to its unveiling in May!


 Jane Bowe, Managing Director of Probusiness in Wells, is turning her hand to swan painting, literally, as she is using her bare hands as 'paintbrushes' to adorn her swan, named "A Feathered Nest", in reference to the accountancy firm she runs with her husband Martin. 


SCULPTURE DESIGN
The Swan Team searched for sculptors who had experience of making giant swans and found Yorkshire-based sculptor Alexander Sasin, who had previously made a magnificent swan for a hotel in Berkshire. 

A prototype swan sculpture was produced, which came to Wells just before Christmas 2011 for approval and several potential sponsors signed up on the spot, with Chubb Bulleid being the first to join the flock!

The final master swan was approved by the Swan team in January.  Then, working in freezing -10C conditions, Alexander finessed the master mould, which is made of 11 different sections, with the first four swans landing in Wells at the beginning of February.

Swans were made in Yorkshire and in North Wales at a rate of a swan every two days, as the swan's design requires a 14-part mould and a full day of sanding and finishing to get them to their final fabulousless....

They were then brought down to Wells in giant artic trucks, courtesy of Sparks Transport of Glastonbury and stored in Wells before heading off to artists' studios across the West Country and beyond to be turned into beautiful, contemporary works of art.




After a summer on display around the City of Wells, the swans prepared themselves for auction....

We hope you enjoyed swanning around Wells this summer!