Three of the sculptures that have suffered damage on this year’s Lincoln Imp Trail are unlikely to return to the streets of the city before the end of the trail, organisers have said.
The Lincoln Imp trail began on Saturday, July 3, and saw 30 imp sculptures placed around Lincoln for people to find on an interactive hunt, as well as another at the Hildreds Centre in Skegness.
It runs until September 16, but it hasn’t been without a few issues, and it looks as though we may not see three of the statues for the remainder of the trail as they had to be taken in for repair.
The news comes after the Post Impressionist imp, designed by Susan Webber and sponsored by Ruddocks, was found with scuff marks and damage at its spot near the Royal William IV pub in Lincoln.
It is believed that a delivery lorry bumped into the sculpture to cause the damage, and event organisers Lincoln BIG have taken it in to see if it can be fixed. This incident made it the fourth imp on the trail to require fixing.
The first imp damaged was The Community Imp on Guildhall Street, which was vandalised on July 21 by 20-year-old Bradley Pennell from Scunthorpe, after a drunken night out. He pleaded guilty in court and has bene ordered to pay damages.
This sculpture had to be taken off the streets for repair and temporarily replaced by a red sculpture, but has now been put back in its place on Guildhall Street.
The next imp to be removed from the trail was The Running Imp at the junction for St Mary’s Street with the pedestrianised High Street, but organisers Lincoln BIG said this was just for some TLC.
That was replaced by “Goldie the Imp” which now looks likely to stay in place of the Running Imp for the remainder of the trail.
Then, in late August, the Footie Imp at the lower High Street was found vandalised late at night. This too has been removed from its podium for repairs and will more than likely not be back in time for the end of the event.
45-year-old Stewart Tomlinson from Grimsby has been charged with criminal damage in connection to this incident, and will appear at Lincoln Magistrates Court on September 16.
All three imps that are probably not going to return for the trail itself will be at the farewell event at Lincoln Castle on September 18, so people will still have a chance to see them before they go to auction at Lincoln Cathedral on October 1.
The farewell event runs from September 17 to September 23 at Lincoln Castle, with all the sculptures forming a guard of honour along the avenue for a free event designed to offer people the chance to see them all together before they are sold.
All of the sculptures will be auctioned at an event on Lincolnshire Day to raise money for the trail’s charity partner, St Barnabas Hospice. You can buy tickets here.