Mike and Valerie Toogood with their dragon. Picture by Marion Heming
A NEW arrival in Brighstone has garden gnomes quaking in their boots.
Standing at almost 12ft tall and boasting a six-foot wingspan, this carved dragon sculpture, pictured here 'landing’ at Yarmouth on Wednesday lunchtime, must rank as one of most elaborate garden ornaments on the Isle of Wight and one of the more unusual holiday souvenirs.
Keeping up with the Toogoods, who also own an owl sculpture carved by chainsaw artist Paul Sivell, is no mean feat.
Valerie Toogood said: "Our garden is looking more and more like Hogwarts."
Valerie and her husband, Mike, spotted the dragon — which they have named Merlin — in a reclamation yard while holidaying in Somerset.
"It’s stunning — the way its carved, all the detail," said Valerie.
"It has a human head in one claw and a dagger in the other."
Transporting it back to the Island proved a delicate operation with the couple having to find an alternative route avoiding low bridges and regular stops to ensure it was securely tied down.
Valerie said: "We cleared some bridges by just three inches — I was a nervous wreck by the time we arrived on the Island."
To lessen the risk of damage, the sculpture, which will take pride of place in couple’s back garden in Moor Lane, was stood upright in a trailer making for quite a sight on the motorway.
Valerie added: "On the ferry, all the crew were taking photographs."
marion heming pic