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A "War Camel" to promote the work of a Weald foundation for the humped animals will be unveiled in Cranbrook

The unique puppetry which both moved and wowed audiences in the award-winning stage play War Horse has been used to create a world first – to be unveiled in the Weald.

Benenden-based charity the Wild Camel Protection Foundation has had a War Camel designed and built to promote its cause.

It will be turning heads when it is unveiled for the first time in Cranbrook on Monday.

Sculptor Louise Thomas asked the original War Horse co-designer Ed Dimbleby of Handspring Puppet Company to design the two-humped version.

The "War Camel" design
The "War Camel" design

Using his blueprint, she has been busy in the studio sculpting the creation, which will be donated for free. It will be worked by two puppeteers inside.

After its world premiere to unsuspecting shoppers in Cranbrook town centre, it will visit the Hartley Dyke Farm Shop in Swattenden Lane, and then head to Tenterden.

Initial drawings by the designer
Initial drawings by the designer

Gobi, as it has been named, will then appear at the foundation’s race day in Hole Park, Rolvenden, on Sunday, September 7, when it will rub shoulders with real camels. The racing camels also appeared at the Kent County Show last year.

Charity founder John Hare said: “It is a world first. Everybody is very excited about it. We won’t have even seen it until it goes on show in Cranbrook.

“War Horse is a puppet, but when you look at it long enough you start to think it is a real animal.

“This one will have moving lips and eyelids. Cranbrook will be the first place in the country to see it. It will also be shown around the UK.”

Sculptor Louise Thomas
Sculptor Louise Thomas

The foundation raises money to support the wild double-humped camels at its breeding centre in Mongolia. In winter temperatures plummet to -40C and the charity raises funds to send out supplies.

Gobi will be at the junction between Stone Street and the High Street, by the parish council offices, at 2.15pm on Monday, and at the farm shop in Swattenden Lane at 3.15pm. The race day starts at 2pm on Sunday, September 7.

For details of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF) visit www.wildcamels.com

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