A TINY Tommy is being auctioned off as an artist backs a life-saving campaign for a tot battling cancer
Ray Lonsdale vowed to never make another version of his Eleven ‘O’ One sculpture which was bought by the people of Seaham after it captured their hearts when it was put on loan earlier this year.
But his wife Bev has used her persuasive powers to talk her husband round and create an ornamental version of the statue – nicknamed Tommy by its fans – as the couple back the Bradley Lowery Fight Against Neuroblastoma.
The three-year-old, from Blackhall, is being treated for the rare form of childhood cancer, with his family aiming to raise £500,000 to pay for medication and care if he suffers a relapse following his NHS treatment.
Bids of more than £2,000 have already been placed by supporters via Ray’s Facebook page, with the auction to close at 11.01am on November 11.
Ray, who lives and has a workshop in South Hetton, said: “It will be the only one I ever do.
“I always said I wouldn’t do one and I was asked by that many people, but it was my wife’s idea and she said she wanted to try and see what we could do for Bradley, as we’ve been following his story for a while.
“I’m quite pleased with it and it’s only been up a few days and there’s already a £2,000 minimum bid.
“Tommy has got such a good response, we knew this would do quite well and the more people who know about Bradley, the better.
“Bev was right, as usual.”
The miniature stands at 9.5in high and took a week to complete, compared to the original which is 9.5ft tall and took almost four months to make at Ray’s Two Red Rubber Things workshop in his home village.
Ray took the same approach to creating the smaller version to the 1.2tonne corten steel artwork, which now stands on the Terrace Green after supporters raised £85,000 to make it a permanent feature in the town.
“That sculpture seems to have become internationally recognised, not just known nationally, and it’s boosted my profile out there, so I can’t complain,” added Ray.
“If it can help fund-raise, great, and it’s been manic since it went up.”
Ray’s Facebook page can be found via Two red rubber things/Ray Lonsdale.