Bidders weren’t sheepish on auction night, raising over £195,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice.

Keen to get their hands on their very own Shaun the Sheep sculpture to treasure forever, over 300 people registered to bid either in person or online at the auction event, held at Newcastle Civic Centre on Tuesday evening.

Following the hugely successful ‘Farewell Weekend’, 37 of the uniquely designed Shaun sculptures were up for grabs on the night and on display for prospective bidders to have a final look. There was also 3 additional lots, including 2 small Shaun sculptures and one small Elmer, designed and released especially for auction night.

Ahead of the event, local artist and creator of Dotty About Ewe, Jess Turner, was very excited to be at her very first auction.

Jess shared, “It’s been so rewarding to be part of the Shaun on the Tyne art trail. It’s my first ever one and I was over the moon when I learned that my design had been selected to feature on one of these iconic sculptures. My Dad was cared for at St Oswald’s Hospice a few years ago and it means a lot to be doing something for this amazing place.”

Host Justin Lockwood opening up proceedings and welcomed St Oswald’s Hospice Chief Executive Steph Edusei to the stage.

Steph said, “I’ve been amazed by all of the work that has gone into this trail both behind the scenes and throughout the 10 week run. To see the involvement and excitement across our local communities has been fantastic.”

Steph added, “My thanks go to our headline sponsor, Newcastle City Council, for their support and their generosity in making the Civic Centre available for use as our Trail HQ and to host both our Farewell to the Flock weekend and this evening’s Auction.

I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to Northumbrian Water, our Learning Programme Sponsor, enabling hundreds of school children across the region to access and enjoy the trail through adopting and decorating their very own small Shaun sculpture. Community partner, NorthStandard have also allowed some of the sculptures to be retained by the communities who created them, meaning some might make an appearance again in the city soon.”

Before heading straight into the auction, Justin invited Dianne Hughes to the stage to share about her connection with St Oswald’s Hospice and the impact it has had on her and husband Bob’s life. In 2022, Bob was admitted to the Hospice for end of life care and sadly died in August of that year.

Dianne reflected, “Every person we came into contact with at the Hospice spent time getting know both Bob and I on a personal basis. The entire care team helped us to focus on making the best of the time we had left together.”

A short video was played on screen, featuring Bob, who shared some of his experience of Hospice Care, including the wonderful times getting to know other patients and enjoying each other’s company at the various events held at St Oswald’s Hospice such as themed meal times and delicious afternoon teas with friends and family.

Dianne added, “St Oswald’s Hospice supported me just as much as they did Bob. We have to dig deep and help make sure this place is around for the years to come.”

Heartfelt applause filled the Banqueting Hall as Justin once again took to the stage, complimenting Dianne on her bravery to share her story and encouraging bidders to “make sure our Shaun’s sell for as much as possible.”

With that, it was on with the main event, as Auctioneer Fred Wryley-Birch from Newcastle based firm Anderson & Garland, took to the stage and introduced the first of the evening’s 40 lots. The atmosphere was electric and the competition was fierce but fun as bids flew in for our fabulous flock.

Lot number 29, Art is Mischief proved as popular in the room as it has been on the trail as bids came in at a rapid pace. You could hear a pin drop as Fred expertly led the winning bidder to £10,000 and the room erupted. Designed by Anon and sponsored by the Hancock Gallery, this sculpture has been a firm favourite among trail goers, with over 600 votes on the Shaun app!

Lot 35, Wor Shaun designed by Wor Flags and sponsored by Newcastle United Football Club, made an entrance that all Toon Army fans would be proud of. With two giant flags waved by the Wor Flags team and the anthem ‘Local Hero’ being played out, Wor Shaun was sold for our highest bid of the night, a baa-rilliant £11,000.

Not far behind was our second Toon Army inspired small Shaun, Toon Barmy. Designed by local artist David Maguire, this little black and white legend sold for an amazing £8,800.

The evening was wrapped up with the grand total announced at £195,400.

Steph finished, “I’m so thrilled that we have achieved this fantastic sum. Shaun has been much loved and enjoyed by so many people and the hugely positive impact for the Hospice and our local communities will be long lasting. I’m immensely proud of our teams who have worked tirelessly and with such enthusiasm to deliver this Shaun on the Tyne Art Trail.”

Last, but by no means least, the winner of our Super Shaun Raffle was drawn, with the lucky winner getting to take home their very own mini ‘classic’ Shaun the Sheep. Congratulations to the lucky person who has ticket number 009541.

A big thank you to our wonderful host Justin Lockwood and the legend that is Fred Wryley-Birch, our auctioneer from Anderson & Garland, our speaker Dianne Hughes for sharing her personal story of hospice care with us, Paul Innes Magic who warmed up the guests, the team at Newcastle Civic Centre for hosting us and The Hancock Gallery for hosting our preview event, Big Purple for event production, and the Quicksilver crew who made sure our Shauns were safely packed away and ready to be delivered to their new families.

Check out some of our photos from the night below or view our full event gallery here.

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