Famous West Runton elephant to walk again on beach this bank holiday weekend

The West Runton elephant being "walked" along West Runton beach last year. Picture: SUBMITTED

The West Runton elephant being "walked" along West Runton beach last year. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The life-size articulated model of the world-famous West Runton elephant will take another stroll on West Runton beach this bank holiday weekend.

The large model, built by Norfolk aero engineer Jeremy Moore, will be walked along the West Runton beach where some of its remains were discovered, on Sunday August 30 between 1-4pm.

Margaret Hems, in her 80s, who is from West Runton uncovered the beast's large 700,000-year-old pelvic bone protruding from the bottom of the cliffs on December 13, 1990 with her late husband Harold.

More bones were discovered in 1991, and in 1995 a three-month excavation found 85pc of the beast's skeleton – making it the most complete example of its species ever found in the world.

Some of the bones are on show in the Cromer Museum and Norwich Castle Museum but the bulk of the skeleton is in storage at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum, including the pelvis which is in five sections.

A full-sized plywood mammoth model attracted more than 700 people to West Runton beach in August last year when it was 'walked' along the sand.

The model was the result of the vision that Suzie Lay had eight years ago following a visit to Gressenhall Museum of Norfolk Life where she was invited to take a tour of the mammoth's remains, led by Nigel Larkin.

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Ms Lay said: 'As Nigel pulled out drawer after drawer of bones, he revealed more and more insight into the life of the elephant. It was mesmerising.'

It is understood the elephant - referred to as an elephant because he did not have the woolly coat of more recent mammoths - had suffered an injury early in life which caused him to have a limp.

It is believed that at the age of 42, he slipped in the mud of a river bed and due to his injury, he could not haul himself up, so died there.

The muddy riverbed was the ideal environment for the process of fossilisation to begin.

Fireman Jeremy Moore built the mammoth model using aeroplane plywood, pine and laminated birch in a barn at his Martham home over four months.

Since his first outing last year, the elephant has walked at the Welborne Arts Festival and led the GT. Yarmouth Arts Carnival Procession. He has also made cameo appearances on static display outside Cromer Museum and at the Martham Carnival.

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