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Film-starring sculptures on display

PUBLISHED: 07:44 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 13 July 2010

He has helped bring to life the magical world of Harry Potter, cartoon classics including The Flintstones and The Muppets and the scarier scenes from Aliens.

He has helped bring to life the magical world of Harry Potter, cartoon classics including The Flintstones and The Muppets and the scarier scenes from Aliens.

That makes a north Norfolk show garden one of the more unlikely places to find the work of one of the UK's top animatronics experts.

Few will have heard of Graham High but almost everybody will have seen his work on either the big or small screen.

Over the past 25 years his creations have starred in some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, but on bank holiday Monday the picturesque garden at Chestnut Farm, West Beckham, will be the unusual showcase for some of his earliest creations.

When husband and wife Judy Wilson and John McNeil Wilson throw their gates open to the public, visitors will find a Triceratops and an Iguanodon nestled in amongst the ferns in one of the garden's many decorative borders after inviting Mr High to contribute his work.

Mr High made the two small scale fibreglass dinosaurs in the 1970s for a revamp of the dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London.

The pieces represent the start of an exciting and varied career for the sculptor, artist and poet.

Mr High, who divides his time between his house in Gresham and his home and studio in Blackheath, London, said: “Every project is different and you need an in depth knowledge of how something works both on the outside and the inside to make things look real.”

Mr High also did work on the first three Harry Potter movies where his creations were as diverse as snakes, trolls, spiders and the hilarious sequence in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Aunt Marge appears to inflate.

He said: “I started as a sculptor so I have had to learn about radio control, pneumatics and electronics along the way.”

* The dinosaurs will be on display along with other sculptures at Chestnut Farm, West Beckham, near Sheringham, on Monday, May 26, between 11am and 5pm as part of the Norfolk Gardens Scheme open gardens season.

For more information visit www.norfolkgardens.org

*More on gardens open to the public this week in the Guide - page 2.

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