‘Pop’ art puts some fizz into heart of sculpture

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A WREXHAM woodcarver has finished work on a 14 foot wooden Vimto bottle.

Nick Lumb of Acorn Furniture at the Mountain View Workshops on Rhosddu industrial estate was commissioned to refurbish and remake parts of the iconic oak monument that stands where the first ever barrel of Vimto was made in 1908 on Granby Row in Manchester.

“It’s my biggest ever commission and definitely the biggest piece of precision woodwork I’ve done,” said Nick.

The sculpture, on what is now a grassy lawn on the University of Manchester’s science campus, was put there in 1992.

It was designed by Kerry Morrison in a competition for a commemorative monument for Vimto’s birthplace, but over the years had fallen into disrepair.

The bottle was so rotten at the bottom that Nick had to replace it entirely with a new two-metre tall, one-metre diameter oak barrel which he then carved the label into on the back and front.

“It’s withstood everything the weather and the students could throw at it for 19 years,” said Nick, “One of the directors of Vimto went to a show in Manchester and ended up walking past it and saw how shabby it was.

“He told David Eaves who works for Nichols plc (the company that owns Vimto). He looked on the internet and thought this company was the only one that looked appropriate to carry out the work.”

Nick, who has been working with wood for 40 years, was helped by fellow Wrexham wood-carver Simon O’Rourke.

He has been running Acorn Furniture for 13 years and before that was a tree surgeon.

“I’m an artist by motivation, but my background is in engineering,” he said, “so I’m used to handling big pieces of wood, not just what comes off the shelf,” he added.

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