Machinery's new lease of life

A GIANT structure made from discarded farm machinery as part of a college project is today towering over Stowmarket.The 24-foot creation is the work of mature student Graham Chaplin and was today unveiled at the town's Museum of East Anglian Life.

A GIANT structure made from discarded farm machinery as part of a college project is today towering over Stowmarket.

The 24-foot creation is the work of mature student Graham Chaplin and was today unveiled at the town's Museum of East Anglian Life.

It is the result of 283 hours of hard labour over a four-month period for Mr Chaplin, who is studying a five-year fine arts degree at Suffolk College.

Items used in the construction process include a digger arm, an axel, a plough, tractor operating levers, copper sheets and a tractor seat.


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All had been left to rot in the museum grounds, until Mr Chaplin stepped with his idea for his college project.

He said: "They are the bones of old industry that had been left to die, but now we've given them a new lease of life and I'm very proud of it."

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Harry Barnett, operations manager at the museum, said: "We were thrilled when Mr Chaplin approached us and are delighted with the end result.

"It's great to see old machinery back in use."

Mr Chaplin, who has been an artistic blacksmith for more than 40 years, has christened his work Spiritus Mundi, which translates into power of the earth.

He said the name was thought up because of ley lines that are said to pass through the museum grounds carrying magnetic energy.

Mr Chaplin, who has already received top marks from his tutors for his work, praised his fellow students for their inspiration.

He said: "They are a fantastic bunch of people and that's where the impetus for this came from. I often tell them they're the best people in the world."

Mr Chaplin is dedicating his work to every "hardworking individual who has been involved in agriculture over the past few centuries".

Over the years, he has worked on a number of projects from his base, at Hollybush Farm, in Buxhall.

Many village signs bear testament to his skill, including those in Onehouse, Buxhall, Great Finborough, Shelland and Battisford.

What do you think of Spiritus Mundi? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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