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Meet the 56th unseen Elmer 'Hero' - as it is unveiled at the Ipswich Regent

PUBLISHED: 16:28 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:57 15 August 2019

Friends Amelia Clark and James Hooker, aged 5 from Colchester with Hero the elmer.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Friends Amelia Clark and James Hooker, aged 5 from Colchester with Hero the elmer. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

There is one more special Elmer to add to the herd of elephants who have been causing a stir around Ipswich this summer, and this 'emergency Elmer' goes by the name of Hero.

Norman in his elmer suit at the unveiling of the 56th elmer, Hero at the Regent theatre  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDNorman in his elmer suit at the unveiling of the 56th elmer, Hero at the Regent theatre Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Hero was introduced to fans for the first time today at the Ipswich Regent Theatre - where young Elmer lovers headed to see the puppet shows in celebration of 30 years of the patchwork elephant.

Hero was designed and painted by the experienced trail artist, Mik Richardson, who was also the mastermind behind the Elmer Armstrong, Earnest Edmund and Castle on the Hill sculptures for Elmer's Big Parade.

Young fans also got to swap their Elmer stickers at two 'swap shops' before each of the two performances, with everyone eager to be the first out of their friends to complete the sticker book.

Hero represents our real life super heroes - featuring the fire service, paramedics and the air and ambulance teams.

Cousins Elijah aged 6 and Albi aged 3 from Ipswich,  with Hero the elmer  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCousins Elijah aged 6 and Albi aged 3 from Ipswich, with Hero the elmer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

He was created as a backup sculpture, ready to jump to the rescue in case any of the Elmer's got into trouble during the parade - but thankfully Hero hasn't been needed and now he is being shown off to the public, with his first stop at the Regent Theatre.

Hero will then be out and about around Ipswich until the end of the trail - so keep your eyes peeled.

He will spend time at Elmer HQ in Ipswich Town Hall, one of St Elizabeth Hospice's partners or sponsors, or perhaps you'll find him cruising around town on the back of the Elmer pick up truck.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk, said: "We really love Hero and are sure he is going to be a hit with the public. We are of course very grateful that we haven't needed him before now but we are keen to show him off as much as possible over the next few weeks.

Hero the 56th elmer being unveiled at the Regent theatre  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDHero the 56th elmer being unveiled at the Regent theatre Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

"Hero is a wonderful design and very skilfully painted so we hope that he will prove really popular at the auction."

Once the trail comes to an end on Saturday, September 7, Hero will join the fellow Elmer's for one last parade at the Ipswich Corn Exchange for their farewell event, Elmer Packs His Trunk.

Hero will then be sold at the hospice's grand auction along with all the other large sculptures, in hope of raising as much money as possible for the incredible services that the hospice provide.

Tickets for Elmer Packs His Trunk are going on sale very soon at the Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange box office - and anyone hoping to attend the auction should see here for more details.

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