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Jamie Wardley on an ice boat sculpture

Jamie looking out to sea

We pulled up in the van to the most magical gardens of the Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews Scotland and unloaded seven blocks of ice and two carefully wrapped sculptures that we had made in our freezer in Bradford.  One made by Yadgar was of a local hero that is still walking the streets of St Andrews and even has a book written about him.

Jamie Wardley carving ice cat

Jamie getting Hamish ready for a boat trip

The blocks of ice were unwrapped and stood there as seven imposing monoliths that looked nothing like a sculpture and seemed in no hurry to change into one, but with our two nifty chainsaws and razor sharp chisels, we soon knocked them into shape.  It was not long before we had ‘stacked ‘ the sculpture and got all the tricky angles cut so that the ice stuck together and was ready to be truly carved.


ice blocks

The ice has arrived!

The sculpture was there as part of the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival and Christmas Lights Switch On. As St Andrews is a port, we thought we would bring a boat ashore.

For a few hours we cut into the ice with snow spraying about the place and then suddenly a boat had appeared which was just as well as many people came to see it. We then began to unwrap the pre-carved sculptures and there was a wonderful commotion as Hamish McHamish was revealed in all his ice glory. He is a local Ginger Tomcat that walks the streets and is known and brings joy to all he meets.  There is even going to be a second sculpture of him made soon in Bronze and there is also a book about him.  The Ice Hamish even talked, he told me that he wanted to watch the fish jumping out of the water so I obliged and propped him on the front of the boat.


ice carving at night

The finished sculpture at night

After some extravagant posing by me and Andy Moss, the Harbour Master turned up and declared the boat HMS Hamish seaworthy.  Then the Police got in the boat to inspect the license and afterwards all the children took turns sailing in the ice boat.  Finally Hamish McHamish turned up in all his ginger glory and strolled past the boat in a nonchalant fashion.  He then came back later and even had his photo taken on HMS Hamish with his alter ice ego.  This was one cool cat.


As afternoon turned to evening the sculpture began to melt and the lights were turned on to reveal the most amazing crystal clear ice sculpture that blazed golden in the night.  Sometimes ice sculptures create incredible forms and light illusions as they melt and this was one of them.


family in ice sculpture

Wonderful photos of families in the finished sculpture

To top off the night we ate in a restaurant called The Adamson and I had one of the best meals I have had in a long time as flavours whizzed about my taste buds in an array of complimentary flavours.  Our friends Graham and Edna revealed that the head chef was on Master Chef and was doing very well in the competition.  Good luck to Scott Davies.


ice art at night

The crowd admire Hamish at night

It was a real pleasure to make this sculpture and wonderful to visit St Andrews again.  The folk of the town were delightful as they cheered us on and then got in the boat to have their photos taken, touching the ice and even looking through the ice window to reveal very amusing faces. Thank you for making us feel so welcome and a thank you to Annie for having us.




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