• Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


FANS of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant can snap up pocket money-friendly merchandise – and support a North East charity at the same time.

As the region prepares to welcome Elmer’s Great North Parade – a free public art trail of 50 Elmer sculptures – souvenirs have gone on sale.

And all profits raised will go to support the Children and Young Services at
St Oswald’s Hospice.

The Parade begins on 21 August and, for 11 weeks, families will be able to visit each of the Elmers, which will be positioned across Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead and North and South Tyneside.

To commemorate the event, a range of official merchandise is now available, online and at St Oswald’s shops in Gosforth, Jesmond, Whitley Bay, Low Fell, Sunderland, Wallsend, Kingston Park and Grainger Market.

The range encompasses everything from badges, keyrings and coasters – priced from as little as £2 – to a plush Elmer rattle, figurines, colouring sheets and pens.

Youngsters can also paint their own Elmer sculpture and there are tote bags, photo frames and a selection of mugs, bearing the different designs of the Elmers making up the Great North Parade.

Each of the Elmer sculptures has been decorated by a different artist, but, sadly, Wallsend artist Jeff Rowland died earlier this year, shortly after completing his elephant.

Jeff – whose Snowdog, Arthur, was one of the most popular of 2016’s Great North Snowdogs trail – named it Amy after his niece and, in his memory, a whole line of merchandise bears his design.

“Amy is a beautiful design based around an autumn scene,” said St Oswald’s head of retail, Andrew Moir, “and we’re delighted to be able to honour his memory with an exclusive range dedicated to this artwork.”

The merchandise was chosen specifically to suit all pockets and Andrew said: “They all make brilliant souvenirs of the trail and are great gifts for anyone anybody who is an Elmer fan.”

The arrival of the merchandise coincides with the launch of St Oswald’s new shop at Newcastle’s Grainger Market, which will sell every item in the range.

Many of the St Oswald’s shops will also carry a reduced selection of items but the entire range can be viewed and purchased at www.greatnorthelmer.co.uk/shop