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Tony Hillier: 'Quirky' garden sculptures find new homes

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image captionThe artist created the pieces in the garage of his home in Histon, just north of Cambridge
A primary school is to showcase "quirky" sculptures after an artist's widow decided to give them away.
Tony Hillier, who died in 2014, created hundreds of steel figures and animals, with several displayed in his garden in Histon, near Cambridge.
Earlier this year, an appeal was placed on a community forum for the sculptures to go to good homes.
"I couldn't bear the thought of popping my clogs and leaving them there," said his widow Joan.
"He would have been thrilled to bits to see them relocated".
Mr Hillier took up sculpture in retirement after a career as a physiology lecturer and fellow at the University of Cambridge.
However, Mrs Hillier said he "had another life" as a prolific cartoonist and artist.
image captionMr Hillier's widow Joan is keen for the pieces to go to good homes - free of charge
image copyrightJOAN HILLIER
image captionMr Hillier and his wife Joan on a homemade tandem
Three of the works, including a chicken wearing bifocals and a man with a greyhound, have been acquired by nearby Hardwick and Cambourne Primary School.
Teacher Nikki Kerss said that, despite lockdown, volunteers managed to put the works in place before the summer holidays.
"They're so quirky and unique. I just love them," she said.
"The class played a part in choosing the ones they wanted, and parents volunteered to move them.
"I'm not arty at all, but there is something very special about them."
image copyrightNIKKI KERSS
image captionChicken coup: The bespectacled fowl in his new home at Hardwick and Cambourne Community Primary - a few miles west of Cambridge
image copyrightNIKKI KERSS
image captionThe old man and greyhound has been moved to the front gates of the primary school's Hardwick campus
Mrs Hillier said other pieces will be displayed around Histon, with a pig moving under a tree in the village's community orchard.
But she added that she will hold on to the dog and the little horse for now because "visitors love to sit and get their photos taken with them".
"When schools asked him to make pieces he would say 'ask what the children want' and then our dining room was filled with children's drawings - it was wonderful," she said.
"I think he'd be delighted they are still so loved."
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