A Hanover community group have successfully bought one of the Martlets Hospice Snowdogs.
In Autumn 2016 Martlets Hospice teamed up with Wild in Art and Penguin to stage a three-month art trail in Brighton & Hove.
“The Snowdogs were enormously popular,” says Brian Warren, who owns local company Quick HR.
The 44 giant Snowdog sculptures were inspired by the animated short film, The Snowman™ and The Snowdog.
Ruth Farnell set up Hanover’s successful community bid to buy a Snowdog when the sculptures were auctioned, to make sure one of the Snowdogs stayed in a public place for everyone to see.
“It all started when people on the Hanover Community Notice Board Facebook site were saying they’d like to crowdfund to buy a Snowdog,” says Ruth.
“I said, ‘I’m going to do it, come on you lot’. I just lit the blue touchpaper and got it going. But it wasn’t me alone. A lot of people quietly did things behind the scenes,” adds Ruth, an IT project manager who has lived in Hanover for 30 years.
The Snowdog has been lodging at Ruth’s home while donors debated where the figure should live permanently. The group eventually decided that she should take up residence in the garden of the Hanover Centre in Southover Street. She was unveiled there on May 14 with a celebration attended by 50 people.
Residents raised £2,500, but knew it was unlikely to be enough. Then Brian Warren, another long-term Hanover resident, stepped in.
“We knew many would go to private homes or offices, but if Hanover bought one it would mean Brighton people would still be able to see it. So I said my company would make up the shortfall between what was raised and what was needed.”
There was a lot of discussion about which dog to bid for.
One of the top dogs on the list was Process Pup, who had been attracting the crowds on the seafront.
“She’s really colourful which is fitting for Hanover as it has such colourful houses,” said Brian.
Brian and Ruth went to the auction and secured Process Pup for £6,000.
“Afterwards, we found out the artist, Josh Ford, lives in Hanover, so it was perfect,” said Brian.
Brian is delighted it all worked out. “Getting a Snowdog ticked all the right boxes,” he says. “We raised money for the hospice, bought a brilliant piece of art and are thrilled it will be seen and enjoyed by people for many years to come.”