Naked statues caused outcry - new book about Over Kellet sculptor

The statue depicting Jill - one of the statues that caused such a stir

The statue depicting Jill - one of the statues that caused such a stir

First published in News
Last updated

NAKED sculptures placed outside a house in tranquil Over Kellet caused quite a stir some 30 years ago.

Depicting sculptor Roy Clapp and his wife Jill, the two marble carvings attracted national newspaper notoriety but were removed after representations from the local vicar.

Mr Clapp passed away five years ago, aged 80, but now a biography has been penned by his widow.

The Life and Art of Roy Clapp: A Reminiscence, is being published by Marius Press next month.

“That incident was probably the only time when the name of Roy Clapp became widely known,” said Dr Neil Johnson, from the publishing company.

“Although he produced many carvings and perhaps hundreds of drawings and paintings before his death in 2009, he hardly ever parted with them, and knowledge of his artistic talent remained confined mainly to the residents of Over Kellet and to visitors who were intrigued by the growing number of carvings in front of his house, and an ever-changing display of drawings and paintings in the windows.”

Roy and Jill, with their four young children, arrived in Over Kellet in 1961.

At that time Roy was a lecturer at Liverpool University, organising and teaching art courses in the North-West, but in the early 1970s he took early retirement in order to devote himself exclusively to his beloved art.

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Mr Johnson continued: ”Afterwards, he and Jill kept themselves more or less to themselves. They were to a large extent self-sufficient, rearing goats, sheep and pigs on the land behind their house.

“It has now come as a surprise to everyone that, after all this time, Jill has decided to present the work of her late husband to a wider public.”

The book is available from the Carnforth Bookshop or post-free from Marius Press on 01524-733027 or by email books@mariuspress.com.

Signed copies can also be bought from Jill at Halls Cottage in Over Kellet.

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