August 31, 2021 4.03 pm This story is over 33 months old

Musical chairs for damaged statues as Lincoln Community Imp set to return and Footie Imp removed

A bit of good news, but also a bit of bad news

By Local Democracy Reporter

You can expect a bit of chopping and changing of the Lincoln Imp Trail in the city on Wednesday, as the previously damaged Community Imp returns to its podium, and its replacement goes to the High Street.

The Community Imp, designed by freelance artist Sian Bristow and a local schoolgirl, was subject to a mindless act of vandalism in the early hours of July 21.

Bradley Pennell, 20, of Ogilvy Drive in Bottesford, Scunthorpe was charged with criminal damage and ordered to pay more than £2,000 in damages in court.

The imp can be seen split in half and has now been moved from its spot by organisers of the trail, Lincoln BIG.

The statue had to be removed from its podium on Guildhall Street and taken back for repairs, and was temporarily replaced by an all-red sculpture.

That red sculpture will now be moved, as the Community Imp is ready to return to its spot on Wednesday, though the red imp’s work is not yet done.

The replacement red imp sculpture is shimmering away in Guildhall Street. | Photo: The Lincolnite

It will now be moved to the South High Street area of the city, where a second imp was vandalised just a month after the Community Imp was.

The Lincoln Footie Imp was found with its top third detached from the rest of the sculpture on Saturday, August 28, similar to the damage caused on the Community Imp.

A 45-year-old man from Grimsby, Stewart Tomlinson of Hainton Avenue, has been charged with criminal damage in connection to the incident, and will appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court on September 16.

Due to the longstanding football rivalry between Lincoln City and Grimsby Town, it is being suggested that the vandalism could be football club-based.

The Lincoln City FC themed imp was destroyed. | Photo: Lincoln Police

It is as yet unclear if the Lincoln Footie imp, sponsored by the football club, is repairable, as trail organisers Lincoln BIG still have to collect and assess the damage of the sculpture.

However, it will be temporarily replaced by the aforementioned red imp, which appears to be going on its own little tour around the Lincoln Imp Trail this year.

The trail will run until September 16 in the city, with 30 imps to find across Lincoln and one more at the Hildreds Centre in Skegness.

At the end of the trail there will be an event held at Lincoln Castle until September 23 ahead of an auction on Lincolnshire Day, October 1, to raise money for the event’s charity partner; St Barnabas Hospice.

No.4, the Lincoln Footie Imp before the damage.

No15 Community Imp, when it was first unveiled

Let’s explore the Lincoln Imp Trail