CROWDS turned out in Dorchester to welcome the arrival of a new statue.

A giant bronze statue weighing in at one-and-a-half tonnes was carried through the county town before being installed at Dray Horse Yard in Brewery Square.

The 12-foot sculpture, which was created by artist Shirley Pace, was paraded through South Street before heading up to the development and being lowered into place in Dray Horse Yard.

People lined the streets as it made its journey on a 1920s horse drawn dray with musical accompaniment.

The procession was led by Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones with husband Trevor and grandchildren Ellis, Lily and Eve.

Cllr Jones said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many people coming to see it, it’s an amazing statue to have in Dorchester.

“It’s brilliant – it’s just another boost for the town.”

Before the horse was lifted into position at the former brewery site town crier Alistair Chisholm performed a specially written cry for the occasion.

He said afterwards that he was delighted to see another fantastic piece of public artwork being added to the town.

Mr Chisholm said: “It’s a wonderful occasion and even more fine public art for Dorchester.

“When you add all that we’ve got together it’s about time we developed an art trail around the town.

“We’ve got some extraordinary pieces to which this is simply the latest addition.”

He added that it was good to see a new town centre development respecting the history and heritage of the town.

Mr Chisholm said: “Here we have a very modern development and the old dray horse is a very important part of it.”

Andrew Wadsworth, director of Waterhouse which is developing Brewery Square in partnership with Resolution Property, said he was thrilled to see so many people in the town turning out for the arrival of the statue.

He said: “It’s amazing. It’s such a great turnout which is a real testament to the community spirit of Dorchester and we are delighted to be part of galvanising that.”

• AN EGG-CELLENT time was had in Dorset as the county defied the weather to celebrate Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

Events were held throughout the weekend to celebrate Easter, with organisers of the Easter Sunday fun not letting the rain dampen their spirits as the majority of the events went ahead.

A Pirate Day was held at the Nothe Fort with many attending in fancy dress and a live music event called ‘Tea on the Quay’ was held outside Rendezvous on the Weymouth Town Bridge.

On Saturday Air 107.2FM hosted a fundraising fete called ‘Kenyair’ to raise money for the radio station and for the Baragu Health Centre in Chogoria, Kenya.

The community radio station held the Easter Bunny Ball on Saturday on the playing fields of Westfield Arts College.

Included in the entertainment was Easter-themed games, arts and craft stalls, a bouncy castle, a giant Easter Bunny and six hours of live music to keep everyone entertained.

Aaron Mallon, the event manager, said: “This whole fundraiser is to raise money for local communities.

“With Air, it’s about raising money for the community radio show, and the Baragu Health centre is for the community of Chogoria.

“The fundraising event went quite well.

“The sun was shining, the music was blaring and peopled seemed to be having a good time, which was great.”

In the town centre The Mad Hatter, who was promoting the Weymouth Business Improvement District’s (BID) Alice in Wonderland Tea Party next weekend, performed outside the Argos store.

Nigel Reed, Weymouth BID manager, said: “He performed from 11am until 3pm, making balloon animals for children and walking down the street on stilts.

“He did very well and we got a lot of interest in the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party next weekend.”