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‘Someone thought Snooks was a little cold’ - beloved statue in Aldeburgh gets a knitted make-over

PUBLISHED: 17:29 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 03 January 2018

Snooks with Margaret Boswell, whose grandmother funded the original statue.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Snooks with Margaret Boswell, whose grandmother funded the original statue. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

As the faithful companion of two much-loved Suffolk doctors, Snooks the dog has enjoyed more fame than most pets – albeit posthumously.

Aldeburgh's Snooks  has been dressed in knitwear.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAldeburgh's Snooks has been dressed in knitwear. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He has been immortalised in two statues, stolen amid scandal and then recovered mysteriously from an antiques fair.

Now, in the latest twist, Snooks has become an unwitting fashion model for knitwear.

The second statue of Snooks, located on Aldeburgh seafront near to the model yacht pond, has been dressed in matching hat, scarf and jacket – to keep him warm from the cold sea air.

Someone thought Snooks was a little cold. Picture: DANA TAYLORSomeone thought Snooks was a little cold. Picture: DANA TAYLOR

The kindly knitter’s identity remains a mystery – but their work has been welcomed, both by passersby and the family who first paid for the statue years ago.

Margaret Boswell, 83, whose grandmother Nancy Cooksey, from Thorpeness, commissioned the original statue as a memorial to Snooks’ owner Robin Acheson, a much-loved doctor in the town, said she thought it was “wonderful”. “Snooks is very much a focal point in the town and it’s fantastic people think so highly of him,” she added.

Snooks became well known in Aldeburgh for following Dr Acheson as he made his calls on patients around the town.

Snooks' new look has attracted intrigue from passersby.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSnooks' new look has attracted intrigue from passersby. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Acheson cared for the community from 1931-59, while his wife Nora, also a doctor, carried on as GP after his death until she died in 1981.

The statue of Snooks was originally installed in Dr Acheson’s honour, with his wife’s name added later, and was unveiled in 1961 by their grandchildren.

It has featured in postcards and generations of children patted his nose, to the point where it began to wear away.

Snooks on his plinth, which is a a memorial to doctors Robin and Nora Acheson.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSnooks on his plinth, which is a a memorial to doctors Robin and Nora Acheson. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In 2003, however, Snooks was stolen from his plinth, prompting outrage in the town.

A large fundraising effort followed and an exact replica was cast as a replacement.

Then, almost 10 years after the theft, Snooks’ original statue was discovered by an antiques dealer and given a new home in the garden of Aldeburgh Hospital, while the replacement remained by the yacht pond.

Dana Taylor, who snapped a picture of Snooks over the Christmas break, said his dresser wanted to remain anonymous.

However she added: “I can tell you they knew Dr Nora many years ago and thought it would be fun to decorate him for Christmas.”

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