Kids Elmer the Elephant designs displayed on the Metro

Elephant
Credit: Nexus

On the Tyne and Wear Metro, school kids are showcasing their artwork for thousands of passengers to see.

This is to celebrate this summer’s art trail, Elmer’s Great North Parade, by St Oswald’s Hospice.

Sixteen winning Elmer designs have been chosen from schools across the region and they will be displayed onboard a special Elmer-themed Metro carriage.

At St James Metro station in Newcastle, the winners were presented with copies of their designs at a special ceremony, where they saw their Elmer designs inside of the Metro carriage, on advertising cards.

Metro is the headline partner for Elmer’s Great North Parade. From the 21st August to 1st November, the parade will see giant sculptures of the children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant appear across the region for families to find and explore.

As part of a competition, scores of pupils from across the region have been designing their very own Elmers.

The competition is run by Nexus, who owns and manages Metro.

Following the success of the Great North Snowdogs art trail in 2016, Elmer’s Great North Parade is to feature 50 individually designed Elmer sculptures.

The sculptures were generously sponsored by local businesses, who were inspired by David McKee’s children’s book series.

They are to be joined by a herd of 115 little Elmer sculptures that were designed by local school children and community groups.

Elmer’s Great North Parade is being presented by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, who are working in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art and Elmer’s Licensee, Anderson Press.

Wild in Art trails across the country has previously attracted thousands of local, regional and national visitors.

This made a significant impact on the economic and cultural life of the region.

As well as all of the other support the parade is receiving, Elmer’s Great North Parade will also be supported by a region-wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups.

It will culminate in Elmer’s Farewell Weekend at Newcastle Racecourse on 9th and 10th November 2019.

It will enable people to see the sculptures herded together for a final time before they are sold at The Big Elmer Auction.

The auction will be an exciting event and is 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 also been transformed into the bright Elmer patchwork for the duration of the Parade.

What did the officials have to say?

Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said:

“We’ve been blown away by the truly amazing and colourful elephant designs. It’s really captured the imagination ahead of the Elmer’s Great North Parade, which starts next month.

“The lucky winners will get rare chance to see their work adorn our special Elmer-themed Metro carriage from now until the October – as well as knowing it will be seen by thousands of passengers for who part of everyday life.  I’m delighted that so many schools across the region have taken part and my congratulations go to all those who submitted a design.

“As the headline sponsor of the Elmer trail we’re delighted to be supporting this project. Metro will play a big part in helping families get out and about this summer to follow the trail. Metro is the best way to enjoy Elmer’s Great North Parade, with frequent trains and sculptures perfectly placed close to stations across Tyne and Wear.”

Libby Fryer, Event Team Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice, said:

“This has been a brilliant project to get young people engaged with this summer’s Elmer Great North Parade art trail. There are some excellent Elmer designs on display on the Metro.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Tyne and Wear Metro as our Headline Partner for the Parade. The drawing competition was the perfect way to encourage children and their families to get involved, making them really feel a part of what promises to be a spectacular event.”

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Emma Holden avatar
I have been around trains at heritage railways all my life. In particular, the narrow gauge trains in Wales, and spent many Duncan days at the Talyllyn Railway when I was younger. I have been a volunteer author for RailAdvent since 2019