Pupils and staff at Wingrove are excited to be taking part in Elmer’s Great North Parade. It is a public art trail in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice. Starting in August, Tyne and Wear will welcome a spectacular herd of over 160 individually designed elephants based on the much-loved children’s character, Elmer the patchwork elephant. One of those elephants has been lovingly designed, painted and named Salma by our talented pupils. We are extremely proud of what they have created so encourage pupils and their families to go out and find Salma, as well as her friends, and take part in what is sure to be a fun event for a very worthwhile cause.

What is Elmer’s Great North Parade?

Following the huge success of 2016’s Snowdogs, Elmer’s Great North Parade is a public art trail by Wild in Art and in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice. 165 sculptures based on the children’s character have been designed by artists and non-profit organisations and will be displayed across the North East.

What is Wingrove’s involvement? 

Since the start of the year, children across the school have been learning about Elmer and discussing the important themes that run through the series of books. All of this was done in preparation for the arrival of our mini Elmer in May, after which school wide design and name competitions were held. The designs of Year 6 pupils Zeynab and Harcharndeep, which can be seen below, were picked along with the name Salma suggested by Year 4 pupils Ayesha and Saniya. Under the supervision of Ms McCarthy and Mr MacLeod, around 30 pupils from Years 1 to 6 then got to work combining the winning designs and bringing Salma to life using a variety of tools and techniques 

Where is the parade happening? 

The 165 sculptures will be displayed at a variety of venues across the North East ranging from libraries, leisure centres and shops to stables, hotels and even a mini golf course. Clusters of elephants can be found in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, South Shields, Whitley Bay, North Shields and Wallsend. Handily, all the locations are on the Metro line.

Where can I find Salma? 

Salma will be displayed alongside three other little Elmer sculptures at Stepney Bank Stables situated in the The Ouseburn Valley. It is an exciting area known for its flourishing creative networks and abundant local history and heritage. Highlights include Ouseburn Farm, Victoria Tunnel and Seven Stories, which will also be hosting several elephants. The Ouseburn can be reached by car, bus or Metro, but makes for a great walk or cycle from the centre of Newcastle along the iconic Quayside and its famous bridges.

When is it happening?

The trail starts on Wednesday 21st August and ends on Friday 1st November. Elephants are being displayed at a range of venues, each with their own opening times, so please check before visiting. Venues should at least be open between 10am and 4pm. The final two weeks of the summer holidays are an ideal opportunity to take part in the trail as is the October half term. 

How can we take part?

The trail is open to everyone, free of charge and open seven days a week. You can do as much or as little as you like, when you like and in whichever way you like. An Elmer’s Great North Parade app will be available through the App Store and Google Play from August 21st to help guide participants along the trail and for more traditional navigators a map will be available.

Why is it happening?

The trail is in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice, a charity that provides specialist care for adults, young people, children and babies. Situated in Newcastle upon Tyne, their purpose-built facilities offer a range of flexible services to North East families. They make no charge for any of their services, relying purely on donations and fundraising to ensure hospice care is available to everyone.


Please enjoy our video below showing that there are only 10 days to go until the Elmer trail begins.