Pirate ship that's choc full of fun

This sea-themed chocolate creation is certainly making waves - but careful, a passing pirate might cast his eye on the tasty treasure stashed inside!

Ashley McCarthy, chef and owner of Ye Old Sun Inn at Colton and The White Swan at Wighill, both near Tadcaster, has donated the intricately designed chocolate galleon to Martin House hospice in Boston Spa.

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The mouthwatering cruiser - modelled on The Jolly Roger, the ship owned by Peter Pan's nemesis Captain Hook - hides its own treasure trove of sweets which the youngsters will discover when they break open the chocolate display on Christmas Eve.

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Father-of-three Ashley has been making the chocolate masterpieces for several years, with each display following a different theme. He has also raised almost 3,000 for the charity with his edible artistic efforts.

More than 20 hours of melting, sticking and shaping went into this year's creation, which contains 6kg of chocolate, 2kg of icing sugar, 2kg of wrapped sweets inside the galleon - and a reindeer at its bow!

Alison Wragg, community fundraiser for Martin House, said: "It's hard to put into words the joy that Ashley's chocolate delights bring to our children and young people.

"We always look forward to Ashley's Christmas Eve visit – it's become a tradition at Martin House and is a sign that Christmas is well and truly here."

The sweet schooner is being displayed at Ashley's pubs, where customers are invited to make a donation to Martin House in appreciation. It will be delivered on Christmas Eve.

Karly Strawson and four-year-old Myles Smith, from Pontefract, strike a pose. Picture: James Hardisty

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