Wednesday, 4 September 2013

My search for the Bristol Gromits, the final chapter

This is my fourth and final post about my progress with my plan to visit all of the Gromit statues which have been placed around Bristol and the surrounding areas over the summer of 2013.
Headed by Aardman Animations, for ten weeks between 1st July and 8th September, eighty statues of Gromit have been placed in a type of public art display under the title, 'Gromit Unleashed'. These are mainly in the greater Bristol area, but some are further afield. Each statue has been designed or decorated by a different individual and each sponsored by a different corporate entity. After the end of the ten week period they'll then be auctioned off to raise funds for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital charity.
My blog posts here, here and here are about the first sixty statues we visited, this post completes the set.

Bristol Bulldog Gromit (front view)Bristol Bulldog Gromit (side view)

We spent a few days in Prague and so were passing through Bristol Airport, we stopped off to take some photos of 'Bristol Bulldog' by Dan Shearn at Red Central and sponsored by Rolls Royce whilst we were passing. It did mean we almost missed our flight, but that's another story for another blog!

Eldoradog Gromit (front view)Eldoradog Gromit (side view)

We had a bit of a lull in Gromiting until a couple of weeks ago when we realised the end of the trail wasn't far off. We set off one evening, hoping to capture a few, but were foiled by attractions' opening hours. We did manage to get up to The National Arboretum at Westonbirt though, who had sponsored 'Eldoradog' by Seb Burnett. I liked that they had a special parking area for Gromit spotters!

aMazing Gromit (front view)aMazing Gromit (side view)

We set off earlier the next afternoon to try and capture the remainder of the distant Gromits that we'd not yet made it to. We headed to Cheddar Gorge first, the most southern Gromit, to see their sponsored dog. It was the August bank holiday weekend and Cheddar was packed, I was glad we managed to find a space to park and were just making a quick stop to see 'aMazing Gromit' by Tom Berry.

The Secret Garden Gromit (front view)The Secret Garden Gromit (side view)

We headed back towards Bristol, stopping at sponsors' Lye Cross Farm to see 'The Secret Garden' by Sarah-Jane Grace. Unfortunately they were close to closing for the day, so we didn't manage to pick up any food for an August bank holiday barbecue.

Oops a Daisy Gromit (front view)Oops a Daisy Gromit (side view)

Our final stop of the day was to see 'Oops a Daisy' by Diarmuid Gavin at the Tyntesfield National Trust site, who had also sponsored him. I loved this one as he was so different to all the others, covered in astroturf with daisies sticking out. Tyntesfield also serve a mean cream tea, as we discovered. 

Snow Gromit (front view)Snow Gromit (side view)

I finished work early the following Friday to try and tick a few more off the list, the plan was to cover off all those we had left outside the city centre, so we were just left with a few within walking distance of each other. We started at Junction 3 library, just off the M32 where we found 'Snow Gromit' by Raymond Briggs and sponsored by Natracare. Another area of Bristol that I'd not have visited otherwise!

Lodekka Gromit (front view)Lodekka Gromit (side view)

The next stop was to see 'Lodekka' by Ignition DG Limited, who was just off the Lawrence Hill roundabout. He was sponsored by First in West of England. I drive around this roundabout most days, but had no idea that there was a Gromit nearby!

Hullaballoon Gromit (front view)Hullaballoon Gromit (side view)

Our next stop was Arnos Vale cemetery to see 'Hullaballoon' by Monster Riot and sponsored by ADP Dealer Services International. I've driven past Arnos Vale many times, but had never ventured inside, I'll be back to explore one day.

Grrrrromit (front view)Grrrrromit (side view)

Our next stop was at Windmill Hill City Farm to see 'Grrrrromit' by Carys Ink and sponsored by Trunki. He was a little worse for wear and had clearly had lots of excited children climbing on his toes!

Paisley Gromit (front view)Paisley Gromit (side view)

We then headed through Bedminster and found 'Paisley' by Nia Samuel-Johnson and sponsored by the University of the West of England on North Street. I liked his psychadelic pattern against the red backdrop.

Creature Comforts (front view)Creature Comforts (side view)

Next we saw 'Creature Comforts' by Sneaky Raccoon who was at the Riverside Garden Centre (Bristol). You can just about see the badger at the top of one leg, and fox on the other.

Grant's Gromit (front view)Grant's Gromit (side view)

Our final Gromit of the day was 'Grant's Gromit' by Rosie Ashforth. He was based at Ashton Court and sponsored by Osborne Clark. Nice zebra effect!

The Grommalo (front view)The Grommalo (side view)

We headed back out the next day to do a final sweep of the city centre. We started at Bristol Central Library and saw 'The Grommalo' by Axel Scheffler and sponsored by The Post. Yet another library I'd not ventured into before!

Poetry in Motion Gromit (front view)Poetry in Motion Gromit (side view)

'Poetry in Motion' by Joanna Lumley OBE and sponsored by Icon Films was our next stop, on College Green. This was one of the two Gromits that had been damaged before the trail even started, hence why he's now on wheels, so he can be tucked away.

Canis Major (front view)Canis Major (side view)

We headed over to the Hotel du Vin, Bristol next, who had sponsored 'Canis Major' by Katy Christianson, he was tucked away in their courtyard. DIY SOS's own Nick Knowles stomped in and out whilst we were queuing, luckily everyone seemed more interested in Gromit!

Gizmo Gromit (front view)Gizmo Gromit (side view)

'Gizmo' by Sir Quentin Blake and sponsored by Western Power Distribution was a bit of a challenge. He was tucked away in The Art of Gromit Unleashed shop. It was cosy to say the least!

Sir Gromit of Bristol (front view)Sir Gromit of Bristol (side view)

We headed back to Park Street to see 'Sir Gromit of Bristol' by Ian Marlow outside St George's. He was sponsored by CAMB Machine Knives International. I loved his armour, even covering the tops of his ears.

Where's Wallace? Gromit (front view)Where's Wallace? Gromit (side view)

'Where's Wallace?' by Martin Handford was at his sponsors', the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel on College Green.

Jack Gromit (front view)Jack Gromit (side view)

Our final stop was to see 'Jack' by Martin Band, who was outside Hargreaves Lansdown, his sponsor. A nice bright one to finish with.

Well, I say finish, that takes me up to 79. Unfortunately, I've not found an excuse to make it to London to see number 80. He's returning to Bristol after the trail has finished so I'll make sure I see him then. In the meantime, to complete the set, Kathy of Accountant turned housewife did manage to see them all and kindly took some photos for me.

Gromit (front view)Gromit (side view)

'Gromit' by Aardman Animations and sponsored by Burges Salmon was at London Paddington Station. 

So that's the lot, it's been a great idea to raise some money for charity and bring more people to Bristol over the summer. I've walked miles and met some really friendly people, especially over the last week. The queues move quickly and people are often chatting, asking each other about their progress on the trail.

We've managed to fill our passport with stamps from each of the passport stops, it's just a shame our app is only showing 79 as found, but we'll fix that in a couple of weeks.

Gromit passport

If you're in Bristol, or want to visit to track down some Gromits yourself, the app is available for Apple and Android phones and allows you to tick them off as you see them. It costs 69p, but most of that goes to the charity. The Gromit Unleashed website is also worth a look. You can download maps there, or pick them up from the passport stops and shops (where you can also get your Gromit Unleashed passport stamped).

If you're doing the Gromit Unleased trail too, I'd love to hear how you're getting on.
The trail ends this Sunday, so good luck if you're planning a Gromiting weekend.


  1. We're up to 73 at the moment with one last trip out on Sunday to do 6 (Lye Cross Farm, Bristol Airport, Tyntesfield, Westonbirt, Avon Gorge Hotel and Hawkesbury Upton) and we'll try and make it into Bristol (along with the rest of the world, I'm sure) to see Classic Gromit when he's there.

    I'm not sure what we're all going to do next Summer without any Gromits to find! :-) x

  2. Good luck for Sunday! I think there's going to be quite a crush in that little shop when Classic Gromit comes home! x