Giant Grinch appears outside Hartlepool home

ABOUT a thousand ‘bubbles’ of people have flocked to Hartlepool this weekend to see a huge inflatable Grinch outside one family’s home.

The 35ft blow-up of the popular Christmas character has been attracting families from far and wide. 

It has been put up by the Liddell family outside their home in Park Avenue. 

And it has proved so popular, they are asking for donations for Alice House Hospice, which is based in the town, when people come to visit.

Ray Liddell, 49, wanted to raise money in memory of his dad Frank Liddell, who died with Covid-19 at the hospice in May. 

He said: “You should see the number of people outside the house – it’s unbelievable. 

“It’s a total picture of positivity. People are coming from all over to have their photos taken. 

“It hasn’t stopped all day – there has been a queue since 9am this morning.

“It’s been a real marvel so far.”

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He estimates about 1,000 groups of people have been to see the Dr Seuss character over the weekend, with people travelling from all over the North-East, but says visitors have been respecting social distancing rules. 

It has also proved popular with his daughters, Olivia, 12, and Jasmine, seven, who both love the Grinch. 

Mr Liddell, who runs businesses in the town, added: “What happened was I was looking for some Grinch hoodies and pyjamas for the kids and I came across this big inflatable and I thought I have to have it.

“It arrived on Thursday so me and my wife blew it straight up and it’s magnificent. 

“The police were going across in the helicopter and they stopped to take a look and someone has been up with a drone. People were giving me money so I thought why not do it for the hospice.

“My dad died of covid in May and this completes that story for us.”

The father-of-two added: “He had a funeral for three but he was ever so popular.

“He had a happy life because he had quite a simple life. You never saw him made angry or upset.

“He was a decent fella. He always tried to do it right and he didn’t overmarket it or oversell it.”

The event has already raised more than £2,500 for Alice House, which has suffered a drop in donations as a result of fundraising activities being cancelled during the pandemic. 

To find out more to to donate to the hospice visit the Grow Your Hart campaign page.

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