The Elephant in Nursery

8th February 2017


The Elephant in the Nursery

By Alan Combe

 Many people will have noticed a brightly coloured elephant moving about between the Church Centre and Church foyers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some will know the story behind it, others may not.

The elephant was the idea of St Luke’s Pre-School Nursery and grew out of the ‘Sheffield Herd’ – a large number of artistically decorated static elephants which appeared in numerous locations throughout Sheffield city centre last year and were eventually auctioned off to raise an enormous amount of revenue for the Children’s Hospital Charity.

The original idea for the ‘Herd’ came from the real elephant - Lizzie - which lived and worked in Sheffield 100 years ago during World War 1 and contributed to the war effort by hauling heavy loads around the city’s steelworks.

St Luke’s Nursery purchased the 2016 papier mache version to be decorated by the children with nativity scenes from last year’s Christmas cards as well as Christmas wrapping paper. It was poignant for Rachel Allis, the Nursery manager, that she was able to use wrapping paper which had belonged to her mum, who had sadly died not long before and who loved the Nursery. In a way, for Rachel, decorating the elephant was in memory of her mother.  

A competition was held to guess the name of the elephant and the proceeds covered its cost. The contents of the prize hamper were donated by Nursery staff, and the name, Holly, was chosen at the Nursery Open Day shortly before Christmas.

Meanwhile – what of Holly the elephant? She has been pensioned off now and is looking for a good home. If you have any thoughts about where she might pass the rest of her days beyond Nursery, please let Rachel or Sadie know.


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