Elmer the Elephant set for unforgettable celebration as display is unveiled in Sunderland for trail's 11-week run

Elmer the Elephant has taken up residence at spots across Sunderland as the North East trail gets under way.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 16:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 19:15 pm
Sunderland's Elmers on show at the launch event hosted at The Bridges.

St Oswald’s Hospice’s Elmer’s Great North Parade is an 11-week long trail of individually decorated sculptures inspired by children’s storybook character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

It features 50 large sculptures and 114 smaller ones – decorated by schools and community groups – and they are now also on show across Gateshead, Sunderland, Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Wearside has its share of large Elmers are on show, with their arrival celebrated with an event in the The Bridges, backed by the Mayor of Sunderland David Snowdon.

A craft session was held as part of the celebration.

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One is on Seaburn Seafront, where Fab Nelly, sponsored by SCS, is on show after being decorated by Bethan Laker.

A patchwork Elmer is based in Roker Park after David McKee and Michelle Turton added their design, with the Metro its sponsor.

The Everyone Active-sponsored Doodle is at Roker Beach, with Bruce Parker its artist.

Allsorts is on show in the Market Square after that display, sponsored by Sunderland BID, was decorated by Julia Dobson.

Youngsters got the chance to put their own designs on Elmers.

Flora is at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, with sponsorship from Gentoo and artwork by Sue Guthrie.

The Bridges has sponsored its own display Stitches, which has been decorated by Julia Roxburgh, while one is also on show at The Beacon of Light, decorated by David Maguire and sponsored by the Beacon, Stagecoach and Sunderland Business Partnership.

Little Elmers also also on show at The Bridges and Beacon of Light.

The trail is based on the classic children’s book series by David McKee, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, with the character chosen as it symobolises individuality and laughter.

Mayor of Sunderland David Snowdon gets into the spirit of the launch celebration with the help of Mayoress Councillor Dianne Snowdon.

Elmer's Great North Parade will raise vital funds the hospice, which provides care and support to babies, children and young adults with complex needs.

The trail will run until November 1, when there will be a farewell weekend and an auction, where the sculptures will be sold off to raise cash for the hospice.

For more information, visit www.stoswaldsuk.org/elmer/

A map has been issued to help people track down all the Elmers across the region.