Harkstead: Doodles to raise oodles

A COW blowing a raspberry, a squiggly cat and a minimalist hedgehog – these quirky doodles could have been scribbled aimlessly in a daydream.

But they are, in fact, very purposeful sketches which could go a long way towards transforming an outdated Suffolk church.

They are among more than 50 drawings by celebrities, including Stephen Fry and author Louis de Bernieres, who have donated their work to an auction this weekend. The money raised will go towards the �150,000 re-design of St Mary’s Church in Harkstead so it can accommodate concerts and community events.

Other sketches include a bicycle by former Tory minister Norman Tebbit in reference to his controversial “on yer bike” comment in the 1980s.

The wonderfully unique collection also encompasses a full colour drawing by Harwich-born Bagpuss animator Peter Firmin, a signed football by Ipswich Town players and a signed photograph of St Mary’s Church by TV presenter Kelly Brook.

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“I am stunned by the whole collection,” said auction organiser Catkin Seel, a committee member at St Mary’s. The idea started as a passing thought for the mother-of-two, but before too long she was sending professionally-designed “doodle packs” to a whole host of famous names.

Mrs Seel, 45, of Alton Green, Lower Holbrook, said: “We just set out what we wanted to achieve and what we would like them to do.

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“Quite often, a doodle would just turn up in the post.

“We also had a lovely one from [Suffolk chef] Emma Crowhurst, who sent in a recipe with doodles.

“Stephen Fry drew a very simple doodle of a hedgehog. It was so effective. I keep thinking, ‘I wonder what it was that made him do that’?”

The auction, held in association with the Stour and Orwell Society, will take place at the Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead on Friday.

For more information, call 01473 327780.

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