ELLESMERE’S popular Cremorne Gardens was invaded over the Bank Holiday weekend by more than 50 sprites and a towering goddess to celebrate the arrival of spring.

The magical scene – called The Sprites of Spring – was created by Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s Community Arts Group, with a central 12-foot figure was based on a famous painting of the goddess of spring and was clothed in purple and green robes with a flowing headdress.

The sprites were made by members of the arts group and the community, and proved to be hugely popular across the weekend, according to Fizzgigs chairman Ian Andrew.

“The restrictions mean that we can’t organise our usual events at the moment but we wanted to do something to celebrate May Day,” he said.

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“The figure of Primavera is based on the angel that was outside St Mary’s Church at Christmas.

"We wanted to surround her with a gathering of fun-loving sprites, some of them dancing around a maypole, others playing musical instruments and some just getting up to mischief."

The installation was formally declared open at 2pm on Saturday when Fizzgigs’ artistic director, Tony Lewery, welcomed the first visitors and two young people were presented with prizes for winning a competition to name two of the sprites.

Joshua Humphreys, aged six from Tetchill, won the prize in the four to seven age group with the name Jebbadiah.

He said: "I knew the name of the lady who is famous for doing something special, Eglantyne Jebb. So I added on to her name."

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Evie-Rose Rodenhurst, from Oswestry, won the prize in the 8-10 age group with the name Rosie Rainbow.

She said: "The stripes in her dress are like some of the colours of the rainbow, and I like the alliteration.

"Rosie Rainbow is playing a clarinet and and I was delighted to learn that its maker – Anna Hayes – would be playing her own clarinet for real after the prize giving."

The installation was in place across Saturday, Sunday and Monday with live music on the first two days.

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