Did you see the huge Spiderman inflatable in Hartlepool which followed up on the popular 35ft-high Grinch

A giant inflatable superhero reached for the skies of Hartlepool when a businessman looks into a possible follow-up for the popular 35ft-high Grinch that helped raise thousands for the town’s hospice.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 9:18 pm
Ray's huge Spiderman inflatable and his popular 35ft-high Grinch before Christmas. Picture credit: Michael Wilkinson Photography.

In the run up to Christmas businessman Ray Liddell put up the huge inflatable Grinch – reputedly one of just five in the world – which attracted thousands of visitors from across the North East and beyond and raised more than £30,000 for Alice House Hospice.

Today Ray tested a possible sequel when he erected an inflatable Spiderman as a 'dry run' for summertime when the weather improves.

Ray started taking the superhero down tonight but says he is planning to put up a number of other inflatables over the coming months when he can.

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Ray's huge Spiderman inflatable. Picture credit: Michael Wilkinson Photography.

He says he's "established a supplier" who designs the inflatables - he just needs to send over a design and something can be put together based on that.

Ray told the Mail: "The experience with the inflatable Grinch was 99% positive. I thought, 'If I can adapt the characters to the weather conditions, maybe I can keep this going.'

"I don't want to announce what I've got, but there will be other things coming to the house in fair weather that people can enjoy, look at and leave a pound in a bucket, if they so wish.

"At this moment, we will be continuing with the hospice. But it won't always be. At Easter, we might decide to do another charity which touches our hearts.

"The Spiderman was one inflatable delivered along with a lot of other items. So today, we just put it up to test things - it's the first day we've had this year that's been dry and not too windy.

"Nobody's been through the gates [to the house], we're not collecting any money, we haven't associated Spiderman to any charity. We haven't taken any photos ourselves.

"I'm taking it down tonight. It's important we respect the lockdown rules. We don't want crowds gathering to take a look. So we won't say we'll be doing anything with it until an announcement is made on exiting lockdown - we don't want to do more harm than good."

After one person offered to pay £10 to have a picture taken with the children’s character, Ray decided to begin fundraising in memory of his late dad, Frank, who died aged 77 in May after contracting coronavirus.

The Grinch inflatable made headlines around the world and Ray says it was picked up by Indian, Australian, NZ and US media.

Bosses at the hospice were delighted with the fundraising and said it will make a big difference to patients and comes after the hospice suffered an estimated £1.5million loss in 2020.

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