This morning as we set off for our usual walk around Trentham Lake we came across Monsieur Bibendum. He wasn't there last time we walked the same way but this time - there he was.
The 10ft high Michelin Man was carved with a chainsaw from a tree stump, taken from an ancient sequoia tree, by Wolverhampton based artist Fred Woods. It is one of several sculptures that are to be placed around the gardens depicting industries, both past and present, that have been important to the growth of Stoke-on-Trent. The Michelin factory has been a major employer in Stoke-on-Trent for about eighty years and still employs around one thousand two hundred people in the city.
Monsieur Bibendum, the iconic logo of the Michelin company was designed in 1898 by French artist Marius Rossillon and was often depicted with a glass of beer and a cigar. The new Bibendum is slightly less rotund and an altogether more environmentally aware, abstemious character than his 20th century counterpart which was voted logo of the century in 2000.
Although I think that as a work of art this Monsieur Bibendum is very unusual I still prefer the three little blue and white ones that run around the roundabout near the factory in Stoke. It will be very interesting to see what different sculptures Mr Woods will design to depict the other major industries of Stoke-on-Trent.