Historic wooden carving shows chipboard in a different light
16/05/2016

A historic wooden carving that has been rescued from a derelict hotel in Plymouth has highlighted the flexibility of chipboard. 

The carving, which depicts the Pilgrim Fathers boarding the Mayflower, was rescued from the area's Quality Hotel by Plymouth business analyst Mark Hinchcliffe. He noticed the historical nature of the carving and was reluctant to leave it to be demolished along with the rest of the hotel and its contents. 

Plymouth City Council is planning to demolish the building after two years of it lying empty and being subject to vandalism, fires and graffiti.

The vast wooden wall carving, which is entitled 'Mayflower 350,' measures around five meters long and three high and is thought to have been made out of a moulded chipboard mache. 

Neill Mitchell, a tourist analyst for Plymouth and member of the Old Plymouth Society, told the Plymouth Herald that the piece should be recovered, especially as Mayflower 400 celebrations will begin in 2020.

He told the Plymouth Herald: "I'm calling for efforts to be made to save the Mayflower/Pilgrim Fathers wall relief, possibly for re-mounting in the future History Centre, new Civic Centre or the Mayflower Museum of the Barbican if space permits.

"The artwork symbolises two things; one, it will be a relic from a hotel that will soon vanish, and two, it is the most significant piece of art representing the Mayflower and Pilgrim Fathers. This is a big piece of history that shouldn't be lost", Mr Mitchell added.

Norbord offers a range of chipboard products under its ContiBoard and Caberboard brands – Caberdek and Cabershield – all of which could be put to use in a range of projects, even one as unique as creating a wooden wall carving.