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The Fifty Painted Elephants

The Twelve Snowmen, The Eight Snow Dogs and The Twelve Big Bugs

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
A Painted Elephant


This is the result of a prompt from Judey Kalchik in her Facebook Group The Medium Writers and Vocal Creators Support Group which you can read here.

In 2019 Elmer's Great North Parade was organised in support of St Oswald's Hospice in Newcastle. Fifty artists transformed bare elephant sculptures which were placed all around the region. This followed on from the Snowdogs Parade and was designed to raise awareness and money for St Oswalds.

The locations can be found here with lots more images, in fact every one of the fifty painted elephants.

About Elmer’s Great North Parade.

These beautiful statues were inspired by David McKee's famous picture book creation and the challenge was to bag a selfie with every one! Elmer is one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time and can be visited here.

Each elephant had a code to enter on the Elmer's Great North Parade phone app and once you had ticked them all off you could visit a St Oswald's charity shop to become a "trail champion"

After the 11-week event the elephants were auctioned off to raise funds for the hospice, which provides free specialist care for North East adults, young people and children with incurable conditions, and support for their family and loved ones.

£182,200 was raised for St Oswalds from this initiative which you can check here.

When I first saw these I was not too sure what they were about but they certainly brightened up the centre of Newcastle. As I saw them in the Eldon Shopping Centre and in the main shopping streets in Newcastle it was great to see kids and families playing around them and using them for photo shoots.

Then Came The Snow Dogs

After Elmer’s Great North Parade and the painted elephants there was another similar exhibition featuring Raymond Briggs’ “Snowman™” and eight painted snow dogs instigated by Wild In Art and their various collaborators. Snow Dogs and St Oswalds Here.

The Snowman™ and The Snowdog North Tyneside 2020

This was Wild in Art’s collection of twelve beautifully painted Snowmen, each inspired by the classic song The Twelve Days of Christmas and eight uniquely decorated Snow Dogs are waiting to be discovered

And Big Bugs Infested The Eldon

Another display was twelve large bugs and creepy crawlies that were installed in St Andrew’s Way in the Eldon. Again kids loved these but the premise this time was not raising money for charity but there was bug face-painting in return for a donation to Northumbria Wildlife Trust. This was part of a tour but I was unable to find further information on it.

The statement from the article below is:

"We hope it will offer families an insight into how important bugs are for the environment, especially in their gardens. We’re encouraging little explorers to come down to the shopping centre, join our special bug hunt and have a fun day out.”

Concluding The Painted Elephants of Elmer’s Great North Parade, The Snow Dogs and The Big Bugs

These initiatives have given a lot of people a great lift. From the artists who painted these elephants and snow dogs and snowmen, to the children and adults who enjoyed playing with these and being photographed with them to St Oswald’s Hospice who benefitted from donations, which made it a very worthy cause.

I am wondering what will come next and looking forward to it.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (6)

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  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    Beautiful read. I read that book Elmer the Elephant a dozen of time to kids. They have a few version if I recall. We have the horses parade in our little city ten years back.

  • I loved the snowman! This was very well written! You did an amazing job on this!

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    very well done. Fits the prompt perfectly.

  • J. S. Wade2 years ago

    Excelente. A refreshing piece that illustrates the good in people. Thank you for your well written story. 🥰

  • Gideon 6ix2 years ago

    This is wonderful- it must be so amazing to see in person- thank you for sharing!

  • Judey Kalchik 2 years ago

    Wonderful use of the prompt!

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