AN artist who describes himself as someone who ‘always tries to see the world in the best way’ is set to unveil a stunning new sculpture.

County Durham artist Ray Lonsdale, is making use of the same skills once honed by men and women fabricating ships to create sculptures that inspire communities.

The artist who spent his childhood days in Sunderland is set to unveil a new piece, which pays homage to memories of Saturday afternoons in the heart of the city, and will be positioned at the heart of the regenerating Riverside Sunderland, a post-industrial urban quarter.

He said: "Though I grew up in County Durham, my family were from Sunderland and my grandad used to take me down to Sunderland on a Saturday morning.

“I can recall the atmosphere in the city centre when Vaux was open. The dray horses, which - by then should really have been a thing of the past - but were part of what made Vaux what it was. I can still picture them in my mind.

“And when you speak to people about their memories of Vaux, they all talk fondly of the place, of the atmosphere, the sounds, the smell, and more often than not, they tell you about the dray horses because they really became an iconic part of the city centre.

“When I was first approached by the council to work on this piece, I just felt that it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I know how much the dray horses meant to people and it is really nice to be able to create something that so many people have a positive sentiment about.”

The artist has spent 14 months working on a life-sized sculpture of the dray horses and the cart, perfecting every last detail, from the spokes of the wheels, to a realistic recreation of a bucket carrying sculpted horse mess that hangs on the side of the cart.

The piece, 'Gan Canny' is expected to be installed at Keel Square later this year.

A planning application will be submitted to set out its location on Keel Square by the end of summer.