Ice sculptures attract hundreds to Durham

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The streets of Durham were taken over by a range of mythical creatures immortalised in ice.

Visitors headed to the city's market place where a team from Glacial Arts were showcasing their ice sculpting talents.

Kian and Kharis Fairest looking at the Phoenix at Durham's Fire and Ice Festival.

Kian and Kharis Fairest looking at the Phoenix at Durham's Fire and Ice Festival.

The designers, behind some of the ice work on the hit TV show Game of Thrones, were on hand to give people the chance to the craft themselves.

Live ice carving demonstrations also took place, led by former Sunderland Univsersity student and Chief Sculptor Matt Chaloner who created Tinkerbell from children's classic Peter Pan from a block of ice.

This year’s fire and ice event theme was famous myths and legends, with visitors able to witness hand-carved ice sculptures depicting some of the region’s most loved stories, including the Lambton Worm. as well as other mythical creatures such as mermaids, dragons and trolls.

Mr Chaloner, said: "We have done 20 sculptures as part of the festival which have been placed around the city. The theme was myths and legends. We also ran a competition with local schools to come up with some ideas.

Durham's Fire and Ice Festival

Durham's Fire and Ice Festival

"The interest has been brilliant. It has been busy with lots of children getting involved. My colleagues on the have-a-go sculpture have been non-stop the whole weekend. It's been quite fun."

Ayden Willey, eight, from Chester-le-Street was one of the youngsters who tried his hand at ice-sculpting.

His mum Jemma Willey said: "We saw the event on Facebook and thought we'd come down.

"We've seen nearly all of them. The bairns love anything like this."

Durham's Fire and Ice Festival
Helen Harker, 11

Durham's Fire and Ice Festival Helen Harker, 11

Paula Fairest from Howden-le-Wear had brought her two children Kian, nine and Kharis, six to see the displays.
She said: "I think they are brilliant. We have come especially to see them. They have a map and we have been following that, it has been a bit of an adventure for them and they are loving it."

Helen Harker, 11, from Darlington was with her mum Liz Muggleton.

Ms Muggleton said: "We have come through especially to see the sculptures. They are quite impressive. It is really good that Durham has put on something like this. It gets people to come into to see the city."

Helen added: "I've had a go at carving a sculpture, which has been really good fun."

Harry Hallam carving the ice under the watchful eye of sculptor Matt Foster, at Durham's Fire and Ice Festival.

Harry Hallam carving the ice under the watchful eye of sculptor Matt Foster, at Durham's Fire and Ice Festival.

The event has been 12 months in the planning and will close with a grand finale outside of St Nicholas' Church, with a light show and music. A child friendly version starts at 5.15pm and a show more suitable to adults and older children - as some effects used may be frightening to younger ones - will be performed in the same place at 6pm, lasting approximately 15 minutes.