A MINIATURE version of a much-loved monument has scooped an auction price of £6,500, which will help a tot in his fight against cancer.
Eleven O One sculptor Ray Lonsdale created the copy of the Seaham statue, which has been nicknamed Tommy by its fans who helped buy it for the town.
The South Hetton craftsman made the ornament after pressure from his wife, Bev, who has been following the story of Blackhall three-year-old Bradley Lowery’s fight against rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma.
His family are aiming to raise £500,000 to pay for possible medication and care if he suffers a relapse following his NHS treatment.
Ray auctioned off the 9.5in high version of the 9.5ft artwork, which is on Seaham’s Terrace Green, with bids closing at 11am on Tuesday – November 11 – as the piece was created in honour of First World War soldiers who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
The winning bid was £6,500, which came in just seconds before the fund-raiser closed, and was snapped up by an anonymous businesswoman.
She told the Echo: “I’ve been following Ray’s work since big Tommy was being made, and when I heard about the cause this was going for, I thought I just had to have it.
“Every time a bid went in, I went higher.
“But it’s really about helping this gorgeous little boy get better.
“It’s a fantastic cause.”
Ray, who has said the small copy will be the only one he ever makes of Tommy, said: “I’m delighted that it’s raised so much.
“I wasn’t expecting the bids to go that high, although I didn’t quite know what it would get because it’s difficult to guess.
“Raising funds was the object.”
Ray attended Seaham’s Remembrance Sunday service, with hundreds crowding around the seafront cenotaph – in the shadow of his steel artwork.
More details about Bradley’s fund can be found via the Facebook page Bradley Lowery’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma.