Cupid is a star!
Throughout the summer, we welcomed Cupid, a Gromit sculpture back to Bradley Stoke as part of The Grand Appeal’s Gromit Unleashed 2 trail.
Cupid sat in pride of place outside our office in support of the Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at St Michael’s Hospital.
During July and August, Cupid became the ‘top dog’ in Bradley Stoke with thousands of visitors coming to see him from far and wide. We had Gromit hunters visit from Italy, Scotland and the Isle of Wight – some people go all out to see the lovable pooch!
The lovable canine wasn’t alone this year, with his pal Wallace and arch nemesis Feathers McGraw joining him on the trail.
With over 60 sculptures to visit, it was a tall order to achieve. This however didn’t stop the staff at Dunkley’s.
At the start of the trail, the Dunkley’s team were set a challenge to take a selfie with every single Gromit, Wallace and Feathers sculpture. It may have taken 8 weeks, a lot of driving and hard work but the team managed it. A map of the trail, full of selfies, even made it onto the wall in our office for everyone to see. It was a rather impressive feat!
Let me take a selfie
Alongside challenging the staff to take selfies, we set the members of the public a competition to see who could take the best selfie with Cupid. With over 80 entries, choosing a winner was a very difficult decision to make. Luckily, we had 3 prizes available, so we could please more than 1 entry. The winners of the ‘let me take a selfie’ competition are (drum roll please…) Brody (left – photo submitted by Amy Jane Goodall), Jourdan Dickinson (middle) and Trina S (right). Congratulations to you and all those who entered – it wasn’t an easy choice!
Design a Gromit
For all the budding artists in the crowds that came to visit Cupid, we ran a colouring competition to challenge them to ‘design their own Gromit’.
We had an astounding number of entries, 100 in fact, with entrants ranging from 12 months to 17 years old. All the designs were incredibly creative, we had everything from glittery Gromits to rainbow Gromits, unicorn Gromits and even a Gromoji Gromit!
Choosing a winner was the toughest part with so many talented young people entering, however to make it slightly easier we broke the judging into 3 categories; 0-5 years, 5-10 years and 10 years +.
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 0-5 category is Annabelle with Stripy Gromit, the 5-10 category is Megan with Super Gromit and the 10+ category is Molly with Aardman’s Coming Home Gromit. Well done to the 3 of you and thank you to all the talented young artists who entered.
To raise even more money for this wonderful cause, we ran a raffle for visitors and staff during the summer. With prizes donated by the Roman Baths, Aztec Hotel and Spa, Bristol Zoo, Clifton Photography and Noah’s Arc Zoo Farm it was one you needed to be in to win!
On Friday 31st August, the winners were drawn. Congratulations to Brian Cousal, Emma Somers, Julie Scotney, Mrs Liley, Natalie Pickles, Nicole Crompton and Sonia Davies.
Fame and Glory!
As mentioned previously, Cupid was the ‘top dog’ in Bradley Stoke over the course of the summer. This wasn’t just because of the number of visitors he attracted but was also attributed to the number of ‘famous’ people who popped by to snap a selfie with him.
Throughout the summer we had a multitude of special guests including the artist, Rhiannon Southwell of Blossom and Brush, Maxine Moustrides, the co-ordinator of the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail, Ben Randles, the Bradley Stoke Mayor and Jack Lopresti, the local MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke. All we needed was a visit by Aardman themselves to get a full set…oh wait we did!
Two of our colleagues, Nicole and Jeni went to see all the Gromit Unleashed 2 sculptures at the launch event back in June. Throughout the evening, they met sculpture sponsors, artists but also rubbed shoulders with Peter Lord, the Founder of Aardman and Nick Parks himself!
For anyone who knows Dunkley’s, we love a good social event every now and again to bring people together and celebrate. Having Cupid with us for two months, could only mean one thing – it was time to organise a few get-togethers.
At the start of the trail, Dunkley’s arranged a launch event to welcome Cupid into the family. Over 100 guests from the Bristol Business network attended as well as a few special guests including the Mayor who came to officially ‘open’ our Gromit and the artist, Rhiannon Southwell of Blossom and Brush who spoke about her inspiration and ideas. Four other rather special sculptures also came to visit, these were the Queen Shaun, Beefeater Shaun and King Arthur Shaun from the original Shaun in the City trail as well as everyone’s favourite Gromberry, from the original Gromit Unleashed trail back in 2013.
As you can imagine the event went down a storm, with lots of networking, laughter and selfies being taken with our lovable pooch. To top it all, the event was catered for by the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, which is the only way an event which involves Wallace and Gromit can be done! To say a mountain of cheese was consumed would be an understatement…
To top the launch event would be a big task, but we tried. As a little thank you to the staff, a BBQ was organised to say goodbye to our beloved Gromit. With burgers and sausages galore, we truly had a feast.
Say cheese Gromit!
As you can tell it has been a busy summer for us and everyone who visited. Here is just a selection of the photos we’ve received from visitors during the trail.
Making a difference
In amongst all the fun, it is sometimes easy to forget that this trail is done to raise money and awareness for a fantastic local cause, The Grand Appeal. In previous years, The Grand Appeal has raised over £2.3 million for the Bristol Children’s Hospital and we all hope that this year is no exception.
As a sculpture sponsor, we have been raising money for The Grand Appeal throughout the course of the trail through donation boxes and raffles. We are delighted to say that we have raised a total of £633.55 which will be making its way to help some very ill children and young people in the next couple of days.
Thank you to everyone who donated and to Cupid, our paw-fect pooch who has helped us to achieve this fantastic amount.
It’s a wrap!
After a brilliant summer filled with sun, selfies and smiles it is finally time to say goodbye. We will miss you Cupid!