WATCH THIS: Chesterfield's gull-screech champion makes his mark at iconic London store Fortnum & Mason

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Chesterfield’s very own European gull-screech champion Cooper Wallace has made his mark at a top London store.

Nine-year-old Cooper recorded his interpretation of a screeching seagull for a new installation which Fortnum & Mason unveiled today (Thursday).

Cooper’s unusual talent bringd an authentic seaside ambience to the installation in the atrium of the iconic retailer’s flagship store in Piccadilly. Swooping seagulls, hand-made by a paper artist, hover above a giant ice cream cone that sits at the base of the display. The oversized cone celebrates the launch of a new limited-edition ice cream flavour, that is made in the store’s signature brand colour, Eau de Nil, and brings the essence of Blackpool rock to London.

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Cooper, who lives in Newbold and is a pupil at Abercrombie Primary School, said: “The seagull display is so detailed and beautiful, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear my sounds in such a famous store.”

Chesterfield's very own Seagull Boy, Cooper Wallace, has recorded gull shrieks for the new seaside installation at Fortnum & Mason's flagship store in Piccadilly, London.Chesterfield's very own Seagull Boy, Cooper Wallace, has recorded gull shrieks for the new seaside installation at Fortnum & Mason's flagship store in Piccadilly, London.
Chesterfield's very own Seagull Boy, Cooper Wallace, has recorded gull shrieks for the new seaside installation at Fortnum & Mason's flagship store in Piccadilly, London.

The high-end retailer, whose 18th century store is renowned for gourmet groceries, approached Cooper after he won this year’s EC Gull Screeching competition in Belgium.

Cooper said: "I first realised I could screech like a seagull about three years ago when I got bitten by one during a trip to Devon. It stole my ham sandwich, and my sister chased it down the beach with a spade. After that, I started to watch seagulls more closely and practice their calls.

“Winning the European Championship was amazing. When I was competing, I thought people were clapping because I did it well, but they were actually cheering me on. When they came over and placed the medal around my neck, I was like, 'I actually did this!' It's brilliant."

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Besides seagull screeches, Cooper’s talent for mimicry includes another bird and a trumpet. He said: "I can make a peacock noise, but I’m not sure if there’s a competition for that."

Cooper with Fortnum & Mason's new limited edition Blackpool rock flavoured ice cream admires the seagull installation.Cooper with Fortnum & Mason's new limited edition Blackpool rock flavoured ice cream admires the seagull installation.
Cooper with Fortnum & Mason's new limited edition Blackpool rock flavoured ice cream admires the seagull installation.

He also offered advice for aspiring sound mimics: “Drink a lot of water or nice, smooth drinks because if you have a dry throat or a cough, it probably won't work as well."

Sallie Smith, Head of Visual Presentation at Fortnum & Mason, said: “Cooper’s talent brings a unique and playful element to our atrium display, enhancing the shopping experience with a touch of whimsy and authenticity. We’re excited to welcome customers to enjoy this special installation throughout the summer.”

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