All 70 Pigs Gone Wild statues go on display at Ipswich Corn Exchange

Nancy Black enjoying the piggy parade at Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Nancy Black enjoying the piggy parade at Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Thousands of people trotted to Ipswich over the weekend to say ta ta to the pigs as they were taken out of the wild and into the Corn Exchange.

For the first time, people were able to see all 70 of the pigs in one place, to take a final selfie and say their goodbyes before the statues go to under the hammer.

A total of 3,500 people of all ages pre-booked tickets to Ta Ta Trotters over both Saturday and Sunday, including the Mayor of Ipswich, Roger Fern, who opened the event on Saturday morning with the ceremonious ribbon cutting.

Children and adults were beaming as they entered the Grand Hall at the Corn Exchange and saw the 40 larger-than-life pigs displayed in clusters, along with all 30 junior pigs taking pride of place on the stage.

Hundreds of people were in the room every hour, but patiently waited their turn to take photos and selfies.

After the tour, visitors were able to buy official Pigs Gone Wild merchandise and souvenir guides, as well as East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star goodie bags, which included sticker books, stickers and sweeties.

Beth and Al Claydon went to the Ta Ta Trotters event on Saturday with their three-year-old daughter, Megan.

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Mrs Claydon said: “It’s really lovely to have something that involved the community over the summer.

“It got people out and about and discovering places they wouldn’t usually go – and it’s fun.”

Denise and Richie Brown took their children Harry, six, and Tilly, 10, on the farewell tour because they did not get a chance to complete the trail as a family.

Mrs Brown said: “They are amazing and bigger than I expected, very clever.

“It’s nice to have something for charity that is made available to the whole community, so it’s really successful.”

Beaver leader Karen Butcher, who was at the goodbye event with her mum and son Harry, nine, was involved in painting Pig in Camp Blanket.

She said: “I think the pig trail has been fantastic, it’s brightened up the whole town, I really miss them now they’ve gone.”

Vicky Woolven and her daughter Maya, five, went to the Corn Exchange to have a closer look at the pigs having completed the trail during the summer.

She said: “It’s got people out and about and when we have been doing it people are talking to each other, which doesn’t usually happen in Ipswich.”

Norman Lloyd, Pigs Gone Wild project manager, said the weekend’s farewell event was fantastic.

“For everyone who came, it was the first time they were seeing all of our pigs together in the same room, and it was so nice to see the smiles on everyone’s face,” he added.

“It was lovely to see the children – and even adults – heading straight for their favourite pigs with so much love and adoration on their faces.”

The event was free, but many people who attended gave a donation to St Elizabeth Hospice, raising thousands of pounds for the charity which organised the hugely popular summer trail.

People were also able to donate to our Hog for our Hospice campaign, which is aiming to raise £5,000 to buy one of the large pigs to leave a lasting legacy of Pigs Gone Wild for St Elizabeth Hospice. The total so far stands at just over £2,150.

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