Chepstow man selling off his ghoulish goods
9:52am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Monmouthshire news
A LIFESIZE policeman, a werewolf, a zombie and a witch are among seven mannequins that are expected to attract a lot of attention at a Chepstow auction.
The mannequins, complete with costumes, which are some of the most unusual items to be brought to Severnside Auctions in Bulwark, have a reserve price of £50 each and also include a vampire and a devil.
More than six feet high, the policeman has a motorised arm holding a speed camera, which he can raise and which features an infrared light, and the ability to shout abuse.
Their owner, David Giles, 47, bought them on eBay four years ago during the recession and dressed them using clothes from charity shops.
Mr Giles, of Mynyddbach, near Chepstow, created an ‘army of darkness’ to use as targets at local shows and other events.
He said: “I took the mannequins to local fetes, including Crick and Shirenewton, where I charged 50p a go with proceeds going to the church fund.
“I would set up a cannonball on my 15-tonne mechanical infantry vehicle, which I bought 17 years ago for £3,000 and have fully restored, and let people fire tennis balls at the targets.”
He designed the tennis ball-server from water sprinkler components that can launch a tennis ball safely with a high degree of accuracy at a target up to 100 feet away.
He added: “It provided good fun for people, family and friends, but the most popular target is the skeleton speed cop, who provokes the largest reaction and is usually the first to be dispatched to the underworld at any event.
“His face has taken a battering over the years but they are in pretty good condition.”
The design engineer said it was a fun hobby but that it has run its course, and he is now selling the mannequins, having moved his vehicle to the TankSchool at Llancayo, near Usk, where more realistic military targets are used for corporate and private parties.
“I am sad to see them go.
“My house seems a bit bare now but they have been stuck in the garage for over a year and as I’m moving house I need to thin out what I don’t use,” he added.
Auction house owner Dean James, 48, said: “We tend to get antiques, tools and furniture and sometimes get quirky things such as wedding dresses, but this is by far one of the more unusual lots to come in.
“They are in great condition, dressed to the nines, and are a novelty item that someone might like in their bedroom, public house or at an attraction,” he added.
Mr James expects them to sell for more than their reserve price.
l The auction is to take place at Unit C, Bulwark Industrial Estate, at 10.30am on Saturday, with viewings available prior to that between 9am and 10.30am and between 9am and 5pm on Friday.
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