The big question we’ve all been asking: What’s going to happen to Herman The Hippo?

Ready to take a break… Herman The Hippo (right) with Martyn Macdonald. Photographs: Nigel Holland
16 Feb 2016 @ 9.10 pm
| Charity, Shopping

One of York’s most stalwart fundraisers is about to move on.

For years he has been a fixture on Fossgate, collecting money for charity, day in day out. But now Herman The Hippo is hanging up his hat.

The friendly hippopotamus was always front and centre at the Macdonalds furniture store. But when the shop closes, what will happen to Herman?

Martyn Macdonald has been running Macdonalds for more than 40 years. His decision to shut up shop will consequently lead to the retirement of his old friend.

Thousands raised for good causes

The notice that Herman carried everywhere with him
The notice that Herman carried everywhere with him
“Herman’s been here a long time,” said Martyn. “We’ve been racking our brains and we don’t actually know how long that is.

“Over the years he’s probably collected thousands for charity, including many donations for St Leonard’s Hospice and for wells in Malawi.”

With Martyn’s retirement the furniture shop is closing in March. Opened in 1911 as the Electric Theatre – York’s first purpose-built theatre, the impressive building is due to become a Cosy Club restaurant, according to the York Press.

So will Herman be homeless?

Mercifully not. “His new home will be St Leonard’s Hospice which means he can help them out even more in his retirement,” said Martyn.

As for the shop owner himself, he is not looking to take things easy.

He said:

I will be concentrating on my sailing, having been here for forty years.

The company will still have its warehouse, so existing orders will be honoured and people will still be able to buy furniture from us when I’ve retired.