The penguins are back! Two of them are now relaxing in deck chairs on the gate posts of Barbara and David Cole’s house in Victoria Road, Castletown.
Last November, one of the landmark birds was vandalised and wrenched off the post. Broken bits were found nearby, but it was very badly damaged.
In stepped Dave Mousley, a Port Erin resident, whose drive to work at Veros Digital in Douglas, takes him by the penguins every day. After he found out about the vandalism, he vowed to reinstate the penguin.
David’s background in model making, film and TV special effects, means he has the skills and contacts to help with a replacement. But as the US company that originally manufactured the penguin had gone into liquidation tracking one down was hard.
Thanks to the internet, he managed to find a matching penguin – in Texas.
He said: ‘I have spent a lot of time on collectors’ blogs and auctions seeing if I could locate one as once we knew a repair was not viable due to the missing piece, the only options were to recast from the intact one or find a replacement.
‘We couldn’t access the moulds so we had been arranging to create a new latex mould and cast one, which is in itself quite tricky for such a large piece. Just as I was ordering the materials to do this, I got a note on a blog in Santa Cruz from a guy who had this one and so there he is!’
The penguin made the long journey from Texas to Castletown, arriving two weeks ago.
Dave said: ‘It’s been a pleasure to help ... and I am pleased I was able to resolve this in time for spring and visitors returning to the island.’
A delighted Barbara said: ‘I don’t think anyone envisioned just what a task it would be ... most people would have given up months ago, it’s so refreshing to find someone who sticks to their word.’