Pigs Gone Wild brings in £200,000 in fundraising bacon for St Elizabeth Hospice

The Ipswich Blue pig goes under the hammer at the Pigs Gone Wild auction at Trinity Park. Mark Westl

The Ipswich Blue pig goes under the hammer at the Pigs Gone Wild auction at Trinity Park. Mark Westley Photography

Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine they would surpass their £100,000 target, but tonight the Pigs Gone Wild team did just that.

The Pigs Gone Wild auction at Trinity Park tonight. Mark Westley Photography

The Pigs Gone Wild auction at Trinity Park tonight. Mark Westley Photography

They had hoped the art project would raise £100,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice but as the bids came rolling in at the auction at Trinity Park, Ipswich, tonight it became clear the final figure would dwarf that target.

The pigs raised £154,050 but with the money raised by our loyal readers to buy Dr Trott and Nurse Honey-Cured as part of the Hogs for our Hospice appeal, plus other funds donated during the course of the trail, the final total last night stood at £200,000.

Norman Lloyd, Pigs Gone Wild project manager, said: “We were always hopeful that we would reach and exceed £100,000 but never in our wildest dreams did we imagine we would reach £200,000. That sort of money was a dream beforehand and it has left us all speechless.”

The star of the night was Ipswich Blue, which sold to sponsors ABP Ports for £6,500 – outshining Ed Sheer-Ham which raised £6,200.

Pigs Gone Wild Trinity Park Ipswich in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice
Tayla Mooney aged 9 Colchester

Pigs Gone Wild Trinity Park Ipswich in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice Tayla Mooney aged 9 Colchester Mark Westley Photography

The pigs each sold for at least £2,000 and a painting produced on the night by Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia sold for £500, further boosting the total.

Mr Lloyd said: “I think what was a bit of a surprise, a pleasant surprise, was that there were no peaks and troughs. All of the pigs sold at a fairly stable level.”

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Thanking bidders for their overwhelming generosity, hospice chief executive Mark Millar said: “I don’t know how many times we have been asked if we are going to do it again.

“And tonight I can say we will be doing this again. St Elizabeth Hospice has committed to work with Wild In Art in the future, hopefully in the not too distant future.”

The sum raised at the auction reiterates what a success the trail was. The people of Ipswich took the pigs to heart, visitors travelled from far and wide to see them and footfall in the town centre peaked during the summer.

Businesses have reported an upturn in trade and families have shared thousands of selfies online after visiting the pigs.

There was an air of sadness in town when the pigs were removed at the start of September, with many calling for the pigs to be made a permanent feature.

For Ben and Georgina Woolf though, one pig will be just that. They successfully bid on Major Tim Pig – the pig sponsored by the EADT and Ipswich Star – and will be taking him home to their farm in Sproughton.

Mr Woolf said: “We did the trail with our two children and they loved it.” Explaining that Major Tim was a favourite of his son’s, he added: “It is the one my son wanted, he said bring him back home but he will probably be a little shocked when we actually do.”

The couple were also delighted to be able to support such a worthy cause. “The hospice is important to me,” said Mrs Woolf. “My sister died from breast cancer and we had hospice help when she was ill. It wasn’t St Elizabeth Hospice as we weren’t in Ipswich at that time, but we know that hospice’s do a really great job and we wanted to support that.”