Pretty Penny temporarily leaves Pigs Gone Wild trail after sustaining damage during first week on display

Poppy and Freddie Millerchip with Pretty Penny

Poppy and Freddie Millerchip with Pretty Penny

Hundreds of people hit the streets of Ipswich over the weekend with an eye on getting stuck in to the Pigs Gone Wild trail – but one of the sculptures was left in need of some oinkment for an injury.

The trail, which was enjoying its first weekend after going live a week ago, saw many people using their fold-out map or mobile phone app to track down the piggy artworks and tick them off, one by one.

Norman Lloyd, Pigs Gone Wild project manager, said it had been a “brilliant” first weekend for the trail and the reaction from the public had been fantastic.

Unfortunately Pretty Penny, the Ipswich Building Society-sponsored pig located in Cromwell Square, experienced some damage over Saturday night and had to be removed for safety reasons.

Pretty Penny even sent a message from her Twitter account, explaining that she was heading off to piggy hospital.

“I’m sow sad to say I’ve left Pigs Gone Wild trail, I’m currently at hospital, need some oinkment to make me better. Hope to be back soon.

“It’s bacon my heart I’ve had to leave the trail for a while, please keep my fellow piggies in Ipswich safe and respect Pigs Gone Wild trail.”

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Mr Lloyd said Pretty Penny would be repaired as soon as possible and be back on display before too long, and said he was sure the damage was down to thoughtlessness rather than any sort of malicious behaviour.

But speaking on Sunday he said the weekend had been a big success and the first week of the trail had gone really well, giving praise to the Trail Makers who have helped keep people informed about how to take part, giving out maps and pointing people in the right direction.

“Overall, it’s been brilliant,” he said. “We have got our Trail Makers around who are giving maps out and the reaction has been fantastic, which is what we are hoping for. We really believe people do love them. Hundreds of people have been getting out to see the pigs – and what better day than today?

“Even this morning when I went to collect Pretty Penny, as she was unbolted from the plinth people were still trying to take pictures with her –they were even getting in the back of the van.

“That’s why it makes us so frustrated – nobody has gone out to deliberately do this, they have just not thought about what can happen when they ‘ride’ them.

“These are art and we don’t want people climbing on them. At the end we want to take them to auction and we don’t want them damaged because it costs us to repair them.

“I really felt quite deflated by the news.”

Mr Lloyd said it was clear that the “brilliant” publicity had helped make as many people aware of the trail and all it has to offer.

“I was at the Tower Ramparts bus station, looking at the pig with all the buses on it, and an old lady came along and said ‘there’s another 38 of those’ – so it’s great that people know all about it.”

The Pigs Gone Wild app is free to download from both Apple and Android stores now.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved on social media too – take a pig selfie and tweet them to @pigsgonewild16 or post them on the Pigs Gone Wild Facebook page.

Many of the pigs – including Pretty Penny – have their own Twitter accounts which you can also follow.

After the summer art trail, the big pig sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

But before the sculptures go to auction, you can say goodbye to the pigs and take one last selfie at the Ta Ta Trotters event at Ipswich Town Hall on September 10 and 11.

For more information, visit www.pigsgonewild.co.uk.

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