Author: Mike Taylor

The Pride Goes Wild in Bournemouth!

Don’t be surprised to come across some unusual four-legged creatures when you walk around Bournemouth on 25th June, as this is when the lions arrive in town!

50 life-size lionsculptures are waiting in anticipation for their grand public appearance as part of Pride in Bournemouth, a public arts event that brings the local community together whilst raising money for charity.

Each individually crafted lion is literally a work of art! With the help of local artists, schools and the community, the lions are really a sight to behold. Having received hundreds of lion designs, Pride in Bournemouth, with the help of its business sponsors, had the difficult decision of choosing just 50 creative ideas, which have now been transferred from paper to life-size statues.

The pride of lions will be placed around Bournemouth from 25th June, so you may see them whilst strolling through the beautiful upper or lower gardens or shopping in the town, the lions will literally be everywhere!

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Pride in Bournemouth said: “Bournemouth’s artists really have created some spectacular lions for us all to enjoy. The quality of the art and the imagination of the designs will showcase the town’s creativity while also encouraging people to follow the trail and discover, or re-discover, all that Bournemouth has to offer.”

To ensure you do not miss any of the lions, specially designed trail maps have been made, which will guide you on a wonderful walk around Bournemouth, giving families the opportunity to spot the amazing creatures together. There is also the chance to win a trip of a lifetime thanks to First Choice! By finding a letter on the base of each lion and using to complete a sentence you could win a fantastic holiday to Kenya. With entry boxes in the First Choice shop in Bournemouth Debenhams, winning a holiday to Africa couldn’t be simpler!

With characters like Dandilion, Frankenlion, Headlion, Lionfish and Born to be Free, to name but a few, on the loose, the town will be brought to life through the wonderful pieces of art. The lion pride also extends to a number of mini lions, which have been designed and decorated by thousands of very talented school children. These ‘cubs’ will be on display until September in Beales department store and Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre.

Follow the Trail to a Pride of Lions

Budding explorers are spotting a variety of amazingly coloured lions around Bournemouth as they follow the Pride in Bournemouth Trail.

Nestled in woodland and parks, and even amongst the hustle and bustle of the shops, 50 life-size lion sculptures are wowing the crowds as they follow a special trail map around Bournemouth as part of a public arts event that brings the local community together whilst raising money for charity.

Designed and created by talented local artists, each lion is painted to compliment its namesake. Characters like Santa Paws, Firestar and Bunting make an unusual sighting around the town.

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Pride in Bournemouth said: “Since all the lions were positioned in their new home around the town last month we have received incredible feedback.

“The lions are literally stopping people in their tracks as they marvel at each lion’s individual beauty. We have received so many compliments on our Facebook page from people who have enjoyed following the lion’s trail.

“It is a great way not only to see all 50 lions, but also to explore the wonderful town of Bournemouth. There is even the chance for people to win a fantastic holiday to Africa thanks to First Choice. All you have to do is find a letter on the base of each lion and use them to complete a sentence – it couldn’t be easier!”

The trail maps are available from the Bournemouth Tourist Information Centre, The Bournemouth Echo reception, The Pavilion, BIC and Café Renarto in the Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre, or simply download from the Pride in Bournemouth website .

To keep up to date with all the latest news and competitions, or to tell us what you thought about the lion’s trail, find us on the Pride in Bournemouth Facebook page.…

Go Wild and Own Your Own Lion

Having delighted thousands of visitors to Bournemouth during the summer, the Pride in Bournemouth lions are ready to say farewell as they make their final public appearance at the star-studded lion auction.

All 50 of the life-size lion sculptures will be up for grabs at the auction being held at The Pavillion on 18th September.

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Pride in Bournemouth said: “The auction is the final chapter to the Pride in Bournemouth project. It is here where we raise the much needed funds for Julia’s House and the Born Free Foundation, so it is really important that we get as much support from the local community as possible.

“A Pride in Bournemouth lion is the perfect way to make a statement, whether you want to make the neighbours talk with an alternative to the garden gnome, or a local business that wants a fantastic and colourful addition to their reception, the lions are certainly a talking point!

“With each lion hand painted or crafted by talented local artists and the local community you will not find anything else like it in the world, so it really is a unique piece of art!”

The spectacular auction will welcome patrons, actor, Martin Clunes and wildlife campaigner, Virginia McKenna, together with children’s favourite TV personality, Chris Jarvis. Celebrity TV auctioneer and star of Cash in the Attic and Flog It, James Lewis will be leading the proceeding with his hammer in hand as people bid for their favorite lion.

The gala auction has already gained a lot of interest as people get ready to bid for their favourite lion and with a whole pride to choose from including Firestar, Bunting and Headlion, there is a sculpture that everyone will love.

Before taking their final bow, the pride will be wowing the crowds on the south terrace of The Bournemouth Pavilion between 10am – 3pm on 17th and 18th September. The Gala auction will be held at the Bournemouth Pavilion on the 18th September from 7pm.

To enjoy the Gala reception and auction the ticket price is £15 for reception and auction entry or £5 if you simply want to attend the auction. You can buy your auction tickets now, in person from the Pavilion or BIC ticket office. Ticket line: 0844 576 3000 Online:…

Beales Writing Competition is a Roaring Success!

The search for Bournemouth’s next budding young writer is over as the Beales Writing Competition in conjunction with the Pride in Bournemouth event closed Saturday 13th August. All the entries have been read and independently judged by a panel of readers at the Bournemouth Libraries. The two lucky winners have been invited to the store on Saturday 3rd September to receive their prizes. £100 worth of Beales vouchers, VIP tickets to the Pride in Bournemouth Grand Finale Auction and to meet Martin Clunes and an ‘Adopt a lion’ gift from the Born Free Foundation are the fantastic prizes each winner will be presented with. The two winning stories will also be published on the Bournemouth Echo’s and author of the story, Lauren St. John’s websites.

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Pride in Bournemouth and Wild in Art will be suitably dressed as a safari ranger to award the children with their prizes in the store at 11am Saturday 3rd September.

Carole Rigby, Store Director of Beales, Bournemouth commented, ‘We are pleased so many children took part in our writing competition and have been amazed at the creativity and great imagination used by all entrants. This community event has been very positive and we have enjoyed our involvement. Our Beales lion, Winston, has certainly gained some fans and we hope he raises lots of money at the final auction event.’…

Final Farewell to the Pride of Bournemouth

Over 5,000 people said their final goodbye to the Pride in Bournemouth Lions as they made their last public appearance before the highly successful auction, which raised a considerable amount of money for charity

The popular Pride in Bournemouth public arts project came to an end at the weekend, culminating in a spectacular star-studded charity auction which raised over £73,000 for Julia’s House and the Born Free Foundation charities.

Celebrity supporters of Pride in Bournemouth arrived to kick the proceeding off with actor, Martin Clunes hosting the evening, and wildlife campaigner, Virginia McKenna and children’s favourite TV personality, Chris Jarvis making a guest appearance. The event, which was held at the Pavillion welcomed over 1400 people all hoping to out bid each other to become a proud owner of one of the 50 individually crafted life-size lion sculptures.

TV auctioneer, James Lewis got the auction off to a flying start as people bid for their favorite lion. The general public and local businesses did their best to secure their preferred lion, and with each individually designed by a local artist, and with its own personality, the choice was difficult.

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art said: “The auction was a fitting tribute and finale for Pride in Bournemouth, not only did the lions sell for a substantial amounts of money but it was rewarding to see the event so well attended by a whole cross section of Bournemouth society demonstrating that Pride in Bournemouth was a truly community lead event.”
After over a year of preparations, creative thinking and countless hours of hard work, the final auction of the pride of lions was a fitting end to a project which has brought the community together through art.

Organised by Wild in Art, Pride in Bournemouth will be remembered fondly by all those involved, and leaves behind a legacy for all future community art projects.…