Salvage Hunters star Nick Elphick to sculpt army goat Shenkin

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A statue of army goat Shenkin is being made by Salvage Hunters star Nick Elphick

A statue of Shenkin the Royal Welsh goat is being made by Salvage Hunters star Nick Elphick.

A total of £95,000 is being raised for the bronze, believed to be the first of its kind in Wales, to be put at Wrexham's Hightown Barracks.

The sculpture will also will feature a goat major modelled on 15-year-old army cadet Matteo alongside Shenkin, often seen at Wales rugby internationals.

The piece is due to be unveiled on 1 March 2023.

Matteo will be scanned by Mr Elphick using computer-generated imagery technology.

The artist, from Llandudno, Conwy county, said he needed to get into the mindset of a goat to create this piece.

Image source, Nick Elphick
Image caption,
Mr Elphick, on the right and pictured with the show's Drew Pritchard, will not require Shenkin to pose

"I'm learning a great deal already," he said.

"They even say these goats show off and look really proud when they're in the moment, so I need to get into the mentality of both of them, the soldier and the goat."

He will also photograph the Kashmiri goats used by the Royal Welsh. They have roamed wild on Llandudno's Great Orme since the late 19th Century.

The sculpture is being created in memory of the Royal Welch Fusiliers regiment, and will represent all goats and their handlers over the years.

That was amalgamated with the Royal Regiment of Wales in 2006 to become The Royal Welsh.

It will be placed outside Hightown Barracks because of its historic links to the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

They were based there from 1881. A reserve company of the Royal Welsh is stationed there now.

Wrexham's Offa Community Council is hoping to raise £95,000 towards the project.

Image caption,
Cadet Matteo will model as the goat major for Mr Elphick

So far £70,000 has been raised.

Businesses and Wrexham council are working with the army on the scheme.

Wrexham councillor Graham Rogers, who came up with the idea of getting a statue made, said he believed it was the first time Shenkin would be cast in bronze.

Offa council clerk Karen Benfield said Mr Rogers approached the community council and the idea took off in March 2020.

"That's when we first started fundraising and getting the committee together," she said.

Matteo, in the cadets' Corps of Drums, will be wearing the Goat Major's uniform in the sculpture.

"It will feel great if I see the statue when it's finished and be able to say I played a part in that," he said.

Image caption,
Offa council clerk Karen Benfield said fundraising began in March 2020

Mark Beckett, of Shropshire scanning specialists Europac 3D said the scanner would create a 3D image of whatever it was scanning.

Nick Elphick will then use the model as a basis for the full size, hand-sculpted bronze statue.