Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cracking Gromits, Gromit!

Not a day goes by when we don't give thanks for the amazing treatment that Daughter received at the Bristol Royal Children's Hospital. She was born with a large exomphalos (or omphalocele if you're in the US), spent the first four months of her life in hospital and had a huge medical team behind her for the next two years. Every single one of those people were really important, but the paediatrician and the surgeon from the Children's Hospital were just that little bit extra special. The latter performed life saving surgery, and then further corrective surgery, and we to'd and fro'd to see her at the Children's Hospital for seven years. We'll hold Miss C in our hearts forever. When Daughter was discharged from her care we knew that none of our bunches of flowers, bottles of wine or a book token gifts could ever match our gratitude. Although we have tried, there will never be any fundraising event big enough either; all we can do is to keep on giving thanks and to keep on supporting Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal for the Children's Hospital however we can.


Ironically the first Gromit we found was the one
that is furthest away at London, Paddington!
When we heard that this summer, the Grand Appeal's latest venture was going to be the Gromit Unleashed trail; 80  five foot high Gromit sculptures placed around Bristol and the surrounding area, there was no question about it. We'd have to get out there Gromit spotting at some point in the holiday!


A Close Shave by Harry Hill at the Bristol TIC
All the Gromits have been sponsored and decorated, some of them by well-known celebrities, and come October will be auctioned for the Grand Appeal. Judging by the sale of Bristol's gorillas (a similar project in aid of Bristol Zoo) in 2011, they should fetch many thousands of pounds for the hospital.


Carosello by Guiliano Carapia at the Spyglass, Welsh Back


We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon on the trail of the Gromits. Such a great atmosphere, and a super summer holiday activity. Bristol is buzzing with people (not just families, lots of adults too) following the maps or using the Gromit Unleashed app on their phones to track them down. 150,00 maps were printed and the Tourist Information Centre has already run out, which gives you some idea of the trail's popularity! As well as the map reading and the art appreciation there's some history too as it takes in lots of famous Bristol landmarks, as well as areas of Bristol that a little more off the beaten track. There are also several trails within the trail (a Harbourside trail, a Heritage trail and a Central Trail) and there's a Passport to be stamped at six different passport stops. If you wanted to find all 80 Gromits, you could have several days of fun in Bristol!



Salty Sea Dog by Peter Lord CBE
Living 20 miles or so from Bristol, we're unlikely to see them all, but doing the trail has inspired plenty more Wallace and Gromit activity at home! There are games and activities on the Gromit Unleashed website, Son has decorated his own Gromit on paper, and it goes without saying that there are all the films to be watched again!

12 comments:

  1. Hoping to do this shortly. I love Bristol and a load of Gromits hanging around will make it even better! x

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  2. What a great idea - I love Gromit.

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    1. Yes, I'm really enjoying the excuse to watch the films again! Gromit's face is so expressive!

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  3. I have seen different things decorated in several cities, but none were done as well as your Grommit trail with maps and links to historical sightings. Sounds like lots of fun.

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    1. There are also lots of other Gromit workshops too and outdoor showings of the films on a large screen daily! It's been really well thought out.

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  4. Blessings on all 'above and beyond' medical professionals everywhere. Hope the fundraiser is fabulously successful!

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  5. Great, aren't they?
    I am living in Bristol at the moment as my husband had a bone marrow transplant back in May. This was done at the Children's Hospital and we are both in awe of the wonderful treatment we have received there. Being away from home for the past 14 weeks with no idea when we will be able to return home, I have kept my sanity by knitting toys which I have been selling to raise funds for the Grand Appeal.
    I love your blog, especially as it is a local blog.
    Best wishes
    Devizes Lady

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    1. Dear Devizes Lady, what a challenging time for you and your husband and I'm moved by the fact that you are already appreciating the care and attention you are getting in Bristol - it's easy for us looking back from where we are now but harder when you're in the thick of it. I mean it when I say that we like to support the Grand Appeal in any way that we can - I'd love to buy one of your knitted toys when you have any available, or if I can help you in any other way, please email me via the contact details at the top of the blog.

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  6. Humoungously BIG Grommit fans in our household (which is a bit worrying as we are two adults and no kids). :o)

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    1. Oh no, nothing to be worried about, Wallace and Gromit appeal to all ages!

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