ANGLER and metal sculptor Alan Ross has just finished his stunning latest work of art – a 30 kg barbel.

Alan was commissioned by Andrea Fournish at the Riverside Caravan Park, Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

Swansea, South Wales-based Alan’s 2.4 m-long creation had plenty of admirers along miles of roads while it was being delivered.

Alan told Angler’s Mail: “The sculpture is made from galvanized mild steel, and was transported from my workshop to Bridgnorth on the roof of my car.

“We received plenty of attention along the way, and lots of smart comments during the three-hour ‘gong’.

“I chose a barbel for the subject for this piece, as the Severn is a prime barbel water, and the species is one of the kings of the river.

“I have worked full-time as a sculptor for 16 years now, after a career in social work. It started out as a hobby, but rapidly grew into a full-time occupation. I use anatomical drawings so that I get an accurate representation of the key features.

“All I did was fish for the first 20 years of my life, mainly on the Severn and Avon basins, but sadly I never caught a barbel, though I did lose a few. This project gave me a chance to show ‘the one that got away’.

Riverside Caravan Park were delighted to take delivery of the huge barbel sculpture.

Riverside Caravan Park were delighted to take delivery of the huge barbel sculpture.

Alan continued: “I had a long break from fishing, but I have just started chasing bass around the Gower Peninsula, and I am loving it.

“I have had a lifelong interest in fishes. When I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist, and now as an artist I have the chance to indulge this interest in a productive manner.

“I have made dozens of fish sculptures, ranging from 3 m-long outdoor models to small indoor pieces.

“The latest barbel is galvanised to give it lifelong protection from the elements.

“This piece, including the galvanising, was £2,500. Making one of these takes about eight days or so, depending on the complexity of the structure.

“I am sure that these would make great pieces for commercial fisheries. I have always wanted to make a monster common carp.

“Other species that I have made in this style include bass, perch, salmon, brown trout and lots of exotic species.

“In a more delicate style, I have made lots of anglerfish and a John Dory.

“There are details of most of these and my other work on my website,” concluded Alan.

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Britain’s record barbel title is currently held by a southern fish of 21 lb 2 oz caught almost under-the-radar last autumn.

That’s almost 5 lb more than a 16 lb 5 oz Severn barbel to Howard Maddocks, who  held the record briefly back in 1997.

But with so many miles of water, maybe one day the Severn will produce another British best…?

It can certainly now lay claim to having the biggest barbel in the country, even if it’s made of metal!

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