A FUND-RAISING campaign to buy a popular sculpture on the Seaham seafront has almost reached its target.
The iconic Eleven ‘O’ One sculpture, which has been nicknamed ‘Tommy’ by fans, is loaned to Seaham, but fans want to keep it there permanently.
Tommy, which depicts a First World War soldier, was placed in North Terrace in May. It will cost Seaham Town Council £85,000 if they buy it on the supporters’ behalf by August 3.
David Stewart, chairman of Mission 1101, said: “We have raised around £68,500 from members of the public, visitors to the area and local businesses and schools. We should receive a cheque of around £25,000 from the councillors and I am confident of it coming through in time for the deadline of August 3.
“Anything that we get over the £85,000 target will go back to the people of Seaham.” Seaham School of Technology has handed over £1,000 to the campaign.
Deputy headteacher Geoff Lumsdon said: “The statue is important for the local community as it is bringing people in from further afield.
“We had two non-uniform days and a ‘splat staff’ day, which was very popular! We also built a trench, to do history classes outside.
“We gave the children food that WW1 soldiers would have, such as ox tongue and black pudding.”