Fire monster!

Today, I am the Bod of Hell-fire, and I bring you... a story about fire!

The tale begins in October of 2011, at the annual Apple Day held at St Nicholas' Fields in York.  There, my dearly beloved and I were assisting our friend Dave in running a stall for Edible York's Abundance project.

The responsibilities of such a task were not especially onerous.  Basically, we had to hand out free portions of caramelized apples to anyone who wanted some, and - oddly enough - there was no shortage of takers.

The reason we were able to offer such goodies was thanks to us being loaned a stove for the day.  This wasn't any old stove, though.  This was Burnard, who was a fire monster.

Fire, in case you'd forgotten what it looked like.

Burnard was fantastic; his specially modified hat being ideal for the caramelizing of apples, and we were lucky enough that the blacksmith who made him - Olly Boyett - was also at Apple Day.  We told Olly we'd love our own fire monster, and he said, "Well, I can make you one.  Just tell me what kind of monster you'd like."

So, eventually, after many months of procrastination, I emailed Olly and said, "Can you make us a monster that combines North Yorkshire, music, fire, and terrible puns?"

Understandably, Olly was a bit puzzled, so he came round to ours for a chat, and find out what we meant.  I explained that our favourite fire-based song was 'Fire' by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and that as the great man was from Whitby, he would serve as our inspiration.  To my mind, his fabulous costume in the video above could be channeled perfectly into a fire monster.

And what would the tribute monster be called?  Why, Hearther, of course.

Thankfully, Olly didn't think the idea ridiculous (though I may have decided not to mention my choice of name).  Indeed, he seemed keen on our plan, and went off to pull some designs together.  He came back to us in no time, we loved what he'd come up with, and we immediately gave him the go-ahead to make the monster.

Again, in no time at all, Olly was back in touch.  He'd finished!  So he came round to deliver Hearther.

Well, as you can see, Hearther is a fantastic piece of work.  Olly is a brilliant blacksmith, and it wouldn't matter if Hearther had no purpose whatsoever, as he would have been worth commissioning on aesthetic alone.  However, he does have a purpose - to guard our yard and be the Bod of Hell-fire whenever we need him to be.

Hearther in close-up in the corner of our yard.

Hearther gets ready to burn!

Hearther is the Bod of Hell-fire and he brings!

Hearther also brings you delicious barbecued vegetables and sausages!

Hearther takes on that responsibility admirably.  This summer has been dismally damp in England, but we've been able to use him a few times, and everyone who has seen him and burned with him has remarked on how fabulous he is.

So, if you'd like an amazing fire monster of your own, I am sure Olly would be delighted to make you one.  Send me a message and I'll pass his contact details to you.  Alternatively, check out Olly's contact details at the British Artist Blacksmiths Association website.  You will not be disappointed!

P.S. Amusingly, the real Arthur Brown is coming to York soon to perform a show at Fibbers.  Perhaps we should invite him round to meet his namesake and enjoy some fire-monstered food?