Sculptor Clive Heald has unveiled his first exhibition of stunning wood carvings – at the age of 82.

Holmfirth born-and-bred Clive only started carving when he was 75 and recovering from illness.

Now the pick of his work has gone on display at Holy Trinity Parish Church in Holmfirth.

His Works in Wood exhibition opened on Friday night and will run until September 30.

Visitors have been impressed and Clive said: “I’ve been very surprised and delighted by the reaction.

“I only started doing it when I was 75 and I didn’t do it to sell anything, it was just to amuse myself. I just enjoy it.”

Clive, married to Jean, has produced a range of work from the traditional to the modern. Some have an African feel.

Holmfirth Parish Church hosts an exhibition of wood sculptures by Holmfirth resident Clive Heald.

All his material is reclaimed wood or tree branches and he has made a beautiful carving of Christ on the cross which is so detailed it shows every strained muscle and sinew.

Clive, of Holmfirth, taught upholstery at colleges in Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Ripponden for 30 years and adapted his skills to his hobby.

His work has also won prizes at both Penistone and Honley shows.

Just after he’d started his wife was taking some cushions she’d made to Penistone Show and she decided to take one of Clive’s carvings.

Holmfirth Parish Church hosts an exhibition of wood sculptures by Holmfirth resident Clive Heald (left) with Rev Keith Griffin.

“When she got back I asked how she’d got on and she said she’d got a second and a third,” said Clive.

“After tea I asked: ‘What did they do with mine? Have they chopped it up?’ And she said: ‘You got first.’”

Clive has entered every year since – and won every time. “I think that’s seven now,” he said.

To prove to Jean it wasn’t a “set up” he went to Honley Show and won there too.

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Holmfirth Parish Church hosts an exhibition of wood sculptures by Holmfirth resident Clive Heald.

Clive has a workroom built onto a bedroom and is still carving.

He was invited to exhibit his work by cousin Maureen Smelt, assistant church warden and events organiser at the church.

Holmfirth stone carver Celia Kilner helped set up the exhibition and Maureen said it was hoped to bring more local people and tourists into the church.

The exhibition is free and the church is open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-4pm.