The Millennium Charger is given a new lease of life

KNARESBOROUGH'S Millennium Charger rides again, thanks to Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre.
The charger, which stood in front of Knaresborough House from the Millennium in 2000 until October 2004, has been re-sited, following several incidents of vandalism.

The newly-repaired wicker horse and his knight are now in the 'touch' garden at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre on Bond End, Knaresborough, following a proposal by the Britain in Bloom committee.

Chair of Knaresborough in Bloom, Coun Christine Willoughby, said: "I am pleased that the Millennium Charger is now back on public view. I am delighted that Henshaws have adopted this wicker structure and are giving it a new lease of life."

The idea of a Millennium Charger came from the then Knaresborough in Bloom committee which obtained grants to pay for it and gave it as a gift to the town. The horse was made by Whitby-based sculptor, Emma Stothard.

Following its installation at Knaresborough House, the horse was much admired and commented upon.

Unfortunately, vandals had on different occasions decapitated the horse, bent its legs out at a strange angle and pulled its saddle, ears and tail off. There was also an attempt to set the horse alight, but thanks to heavy rain this was not successful.

The woven willow sculpture can now be admired once again in its new location.

Frank Ward, regional director of hspb Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, said: "Henshaws is absolutely delighted to be able to offer refuge, or a 'stable' home, to Emma Stothard's Millennium Charger.

"Since it was first suggested to us, we have been very keen for the Millennium Charger to be taken out of storage and displayed publicly – it is so much a part of Knaresborough's new heritage, and we are happy to do what we can to maintain and cultivate that heritage."

The sculpture is just one of the sculptural works by artists on display in the gardens of the Art Centre.
20 January 2006