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2nd September 2022

Headscarf Revolutionary puffin, Elsie, is now back on display in a new location after being in puffin hospital.

The sculpture was damaged in the early hours of Saturday 6 August and since then, artist Susan Woolhouse has been frantically working to repair Elsie so she can be loved once again by the many puffin spotters.

In her new location in the East Arcade of Princes Quay Shopping Centre, the sculpture is part of the 42 strong Puffins Galore! colony that has nested around Hull and East Yorkshire.

Elsie in her new location at Princes Quay

Hull Maritime sponsored the sculpture. It celebrates and pays tribute to the women who were part of the Hessle Road Women’s Committee, including Lilian Bilocca, Yvonne Blenkinsop, Mary Denness and Christine Smallbone (later Jensen) who relentlessly campaigned for improved safety measures on Hull’s trawlers in the 1960s.

Rick Welton, Susan J. Woolhouse and Jean Shakesby - Headscarf Revolutionary.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “We were disappointed to see the poignant sculpture damaged. We are grateful to Susan for the taking the time to make the repairs needed to make her beautiful once again and ensure she can go back on display.

“We are delighted has Elsie has nested a burrow in a new location for us all to enjoy.”

Susan has fishing and trawling in her blood, her forefathers went to sea on trawlers, so this puffin is very close to Susan’s heart. She said: “Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement whilst I’ve been dealing with Elsie’s repairs.

"She is back in tip top condition and looking forward to lots of selfies! For those of you eagle eyed puffin spotters I’ve made a couple of subtle changes so see if you can spot the difference between the Elsie’s!"

Rick Welton, co-director of Puffins Galore explains: “Removing, restoring, repainting and returning a giant puffin sculpture is no mean feat. Elsie’s return was made possible by many people, not least Hull artist Susan Woolhouse who has re-painted her human-like features and Headscarf Revolutionary outfit. Simpsons of York and Strata Holdings have transported the sculpture, helping with her removal and reinstallation, and Princes Quay Shopping Centre have stepped in to provide her safe new home.

“We are obviously delighted that the repair has been possible and puffin number 36 has been moved across the square from her original perch to be safer, undercover.

”We will be updating information about Elsie’s new location where we can but we are asking anyone and everyone to share the news of her new home to avoid confusion.”

The puffin sculptures will be on display at least until the end of October when the puffins will be auctioned and proceeds raised will be donated to four charities: RSPB, RNLI, Hornsea Inshore Rescue and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

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