Wales

Cilla Black Cavern Club statue being made at Powys foundry

Cilla Black in 1963 Image copyright PA

A foundry in the mountains of Powys' Tanat valley may sound like an unlikely location to create a statue of Cilla Black.

Yet, it is here, in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, that a sculpture of the singer, who died in 2015, is being made for display at Liverpool's Cavern Club.

Black's family approached Castle Fine Arts Foundry after being impressed with statues it produced of The Beatles.

It has also created artworks of The Queen and boxer Muhammad Ali.

The trigger for its latest work was the outpouring of grief following the singer's death, with flowers left at the Cavern's original entrance on Mathew Street after she died, aged 72, last August.

"She worked here in the early 60s and got up with all the bands here," said the club's director Jon Keates.

"People felt the Cavern was the closest they could get to commemorate Cilla."

He described the location as "where it all began for her", performing with artists like the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Merseybeats.

Image caption Sculptor Andy Edwards, who is working on the Cilla Black artwork, also depicted The Beatles at Castle Fine Arts Foundry

Following this "outpouring of appreciation", sculptor Andrew Edwards said Black's sons wanted to say thank you to everyone who left tributes.

"(It is) where the old entrance used to be and where Cilla used to work in the cloakroom before she went on to sing there," Mr Edwards said.

"It is fitting (as a location for a statue) as it goes back to Cilla's roots on Mathew Street, the Cavern and celebrates that young girl who is the female version of The Beatles."

Castle Fine Arts Foundry and Mr Edwards were selected to create the artwork after they created one of Liverpool's "must see landmarks" of the Fab Four.

In November 2015, gbronze statues of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were unveiled at Pier Head, in the city, after being commissioned by The Cavern Club.

The band's "female version" is set to join them on the city's streets when the artwork of Black is completed in early 2017.

Image caption The foundry also made a monument to Welsh soldiers who died in World War One at Ypres, Flanders

More on this story