Saturday 13 July 2013

Going on the Gromit Trail...

This summer, Bristol city centre has the really cool 'Gromit Unleashed' Trail - 80 Gromit sculptures spread across the city (and further afield) all decorated by different designers and arty types and with really great names.
I love 'Isabark Kingdog Brunel', 'Eldoradog' and 'Being Gromit Malkovich'!

aMazing Gromit, Cheddar Gorge
aMazing Gromit at Cheddar Gorge

It's all to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital. You can download a 69p app to help you find the Gromits, grab a paper passport pack so you can tick them off, buy a £35 minature hand painted figurine and at the end of the 10 weeks, they're all being auctioned off to raise even more money.
Wallace and Gromit are Bristol through and through; Aardman Animations was founded in 1972 in the city and the plasticine duo first appeared on our screens back in 1989 (was it really that long ago?). 
In 1995 they helped launch an appeal to build a new Children's Hospital in Bristol called 'Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal'. In 1997 after months and months of not eating, my brother was admitted, first to Bath's Royal United Hospital and later to the old Bristol Children's Hospital where they diagnosed a severe Oesophageal Stricture. Basically his food pipe had closed meaning he couldn't eat anything and was slowly turning into a skeleton.  At the time the Grand Appeal was in full swing and I remember buying sweatshirts, tshirts, badges and keyrings all emblazoned with happy smiling Wallace and Gromits.

Why Dog Why Gromit, St Nicholas Market, Bristol
Why Dog? Why? at St Nicholas Market

Thankfully after just over a year of treatment and an operation to fix his food pipe, my brother made a full recovery and his last appointment was at the fabulous new Bristol Children's Hospital which opened in 2001.
So I kind of feel a certain link to Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal - and of course, who doesn't love Gromit!

Butterfly Gromit, Bristol Old Vic
Butterfly at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre

So far I've only found 3 Gromits - Butterfly at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, aMazing Gromit at Cheddar Gorge and Why Dog? Why? at St Nicholas Market.
But to be fair, I haven't really started looking yet. Next Saturday I'm going to go and see Kneehigh Theatre's 'Tristan and Yseult' show at the Bristol Old Vic again (the last night!) and I'm going to spend the day with an all day bus ticket and try and find as many as I can.

aMazing Gromit, Cheddar Gorge
aMazing Gromit at Cheddar Gorge

I'm pretty sure every blogger in Bristol and the South West will feature the Gromits at some point, so you'll all be sick of them by the end of the summer!

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