Did you see 30ft inflatable Boris Johnson in Hartlepool? Find out about the secretive group behind it
Boris Johnson paid a visit to Hartlepool United last week – but early risers may also have got a glimpse of the larger than life Prime Minister thanks to a secretive new group.
A group of friends calling themselves The Wombles of Hartlepool put up a 30ft tall inflatable balloon of Boris at the end of a pier overlooking the marina early on Friday morning.
It was part of a new project to make people smile and help showcase the town in a positive light.
The friends say it was coincidence that the Boris inflatable was put up on the same day the real Boris Johnson paid a visit to Victoria Park on April 23 ahead of the town’s Parliamentary by-election on Thursday, May 6.
Members of the group responsible wish to remain anonymous.
But they say people can expect more sightings of inflatable colourful characters in the coming weeks and months.
One of the group said: “The Boris Johnson inflatable was bought originally to signify the opening up of lockdown.
"It was ordered and delivered before the by-election was announced. We put him up on Friday, little did we know that Keir Starmer and Boris were both coming to the town that day.
"We’ve got about 20 of these characters and we will be putting them up in Hartlepool and around the North East to showcase the area in a good light.”
The group, whose members range from 29 to 69 years old, call themselves The Wombles of Hartlepool as like the children’s TV characters they go out at sunrise and aim to brighten up the area.
One member also filmed some drone footage of Boris and uploaded it to YouTube.
Although the inflatable of Boris appeared on the same day he visited the town, the group stress they have no political allegiances and wish each by-election candidate luck.
They added: “In time we hope to build up a bit of a library on Google Images where when you type in Hartlepool or the name of a character one of our pictures comes up.
"We just want it to be a bit of fun and to enjoy what we do. We’ve got all sorts of different characters but don’t want to say too much.
"It is a case of watch this space.”