This summer’s much anticipated art trail, Elmer’s Great North Parade, has officially got underway.
The trail, by St Oswald’s Hospice, which sees 50 colourful and eye-catching Elmer the Elephant sculptures on display across the region, was launched at an event at The Word in South Shields today, Wednesday 21 August.
Metro is the headline partner for Elmer’s Great North Parade, which is based on the much-loved children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.
Metro has two Elmer sculptures on the trail. Henna the Elephant is located at Pet’s Corner in Jesmond Dene in Newcastle, while Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is located at Roker Park in Sunderland.
Much of the art trail can be easily reached using Metro services. Click here for a handy map.
St Oswald’s Hospice invited guests to watch the final little Elmer take his place on the trail. Symbolising the way in which the trail unites the region, the little elephant, Hans, made his way from North Shields across the Tyne on the Shields Ferry.
Fifty large Elmer sculptures and 114 smaller Elmers – decorated by schools and community groups – are sited across Gateshead, Sunderland, Newcastle and North and South Tyneside.
Elmer’s Great North Parade will be running for 11 weeks - August 21 to November 1.
Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and excited that we are part of the Elmer trail and lead sponsor.
“Metro was the headline partner for the Snowdogs trail in 2016 and that proved really popular and it was great for the Metro because we saw a seven percent uplift in patronage.”
He added: “Metro has two Elmer sculptures on the trail. One of them is located at Roker Park in Sunderland and the other one is in Newcastle at Pet’s Corner in Jesmond Dene.
“We’ve also supported the trail by turning one of our iconic Metro station cubes at Monument from the traditional yellow livery into the Elmer patchwork colour scheme.
“A schools competition gave children the chance to design their own Elmers, and we have a Metro train in service that is branded in the Elmer colours too. There’s plenty going on to get people out and about to see the Elmer trail.”
James Ellam, Chief Executive at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Tyne and wear Metro.
“We’re very keen for people to get out and about to see the Elmer trail in the most environmentally friendly way, so what could be better than using the Metro and the Shields Ferry.
“The Elmer trail will raise vital funds for us because that will help to keep our services funded for another year. It’s also just a fantastic way of raising our profile and letting the community know what St Oswald’s does.”
Elmer’s Great North Parade is being presented by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, working in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art and Elmer’s Licensee, Anderson Press. Previous Wild in Art trails across the country have attracted thousands of local, regional and national visitors – making a significant impact on the economic and cultural life of the region.
Elmer’s Great North Parade will also be supported by a region-wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups and will culminate in Elmer’s Farewell Weekend at Newcastle Racecourse on 9th and 10th November 2019.
This will enable people to see the sculptures herded together for the final time, before they are sold at The Big Elmer Auction, an exciting event to be held on 12th November 2019 at Sage, Gateshead to raise money for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.
One iconic Metro cube at Monument Metro station has been transformed into the bright Elmer patchwork for the duration of the Parade.
For more information about Elmer’s Great North Parade including corporate and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.greatnorthelmer.co.uk or follow the Parade on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #greatnorthelmer.