Shields Ferry gets its own Elmer the Elephant

Ferry crew with Elmer the Elephant sculpture
6 September 2019

The Shields Ferry has its very own Elmer the Elephant sculpture on public display.

The Elmer sculpture, Mema, was designed by Nexus staff as part of a competition, and he is on show on board the Spirit of the Tyne.

Elmer’s Great North Parade, by St Oswald’s Hospice, is based on the much-loved children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. Elmer sculptures are now on display right across the Tyne and Wear.

Passengers on the iconic cross-Tyne service can take selfies with Mema for the next few weeks. And Nexus plans to showcase him at other local community events too.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “It’s great that we can bring our own little Elmer the Elephant sculpture to the Shields Ferry. It’s proving to be a great location.

“Passengers are genuinely taking an interest and are stopping for photos with Mema. It’s great for families on a day out.

“Information is available on board the ferry service about Elmer’s Great North Parade so that customers can find out more about how to see all 50 of the colourful Elmer sculptures which are display across the area.”

Elmer’s Great North Parade officially got underway on August 21 and runs until November 1.

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.

The Tyne and Wear 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.

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.

For more information about Elmer’s Great North Parade including corporate and sponsorship opportunities, visit  or follow the Parade on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #greatnorthelmer.


Elmer on the Ferry

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