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20ft whale sculpture is set to be replaced

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A 20ft wooden sculpture that was made to commemorate Norfolk’s whaling industry is set to be replaced.The landmark at Harding’s Pits in South Lynn has fallen into disrepair after 20 years of weather, vandalism and rot.Following a fundraising campaign, plans have now been approved to replace the sculpture with a new steel design that includes a sheltered bench for people to sit on.

The old whale sculpture at Harding’s Way will be replaced

The Harding’s Pits Community Association (HPCA) has been the driving force behind the replacement, and it will be one of a number of changes coming to the area this year, which was once the heart of the area’s whaling industry.A bid to create a community orchard has recently been approved by West Norfolk borough councillors, which coincides with the area being designated a village green to protect the green space from future development.About 34 mixed fruit trees will be planted on the eastern side of Harding’s Pits.

The whale on Harding’s Pits deteriorated because of weather, vandalism and rot

Harding’s Pits was once the centre of the county’s booming whaling industry.From the 16th to the 19th century, the ships which would venture into the icy seas surrounding Greenland and elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean in search of bowhead whales were built and supplied here.At the height of the trade, the area was busy with merchants, shipwrights and fishermen.Whale oil became a lucrative commodity during the Industrial Revolution and was used as a lubricant for machinery, as well as lamp fuel for street lighting.However, overfishing eventually led to the collapse of the industry and it was abandoned in the 20th century.The 20ft high wooden whale sculpture became the centrepiece of the South Lynn area, created to commemorate this part of the town’s maritime history.But after two decades, it needs to be replaced after becoming damaged by the elements and vandals.



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