This might be Purpleman’s last weekend on Stonegate – catch him while you can

Purpleman in his familiar surroundings… but for how much longer? Photograph: Richard McDougall
11 Dec 2015 @ 5.34 pm
| Charity, News

Purpleman will appear on his bike in Stonegate this weekend possibly for the last time.

York’s most colourful character is off to the Syrian border to take toys for war-hit children – and this may be our last chance to see him on his familiar York pitch.

As we reported earlier this month, Purpleman has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £15,000 to buy Christmas toys for the children.

He plans to buy 15,000 soft toys from a supplier in Turkey and deliver them in a purple bus to the children who have lost their homes – and very often their loved ones – in the Syrian fighting.

This weekend (December 12 and 13) he will be back in Stonegate, collecting money for the appeal.

He told YorkMix:

Purpleman will appear this weekend in Stonegate York, astride the bike – for the last time before he heads off to the Syrian border – your last chance to see him.

Will he ever return?

Part of the furniture

Purpleman on Stonegate in 2008. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr
Purpleman on Stonegate in 2008. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr

If Purpleman does leave Stonegate forever it will mean the street losing its best known human landmark.

He has been a fixture on the street for many years, and is perhaps the city’s most photographed cyclist.

Purpleman has starred in everything from Visit York tourism campaigns to an advert for Aldi.

But he has plans to open a Purple School for children who have fled the war, as well as deliver up to one million toys next year.

And the more time he devotes to his Syrian missions, the less he has to spend in the heart of York.

New art exhibition

A drawing by a Syrian child who has fled the war
A drawing by a Syrian child who has fled the war

After his previous mission, Syrian children sent Purpleman and his team more than 70 drawings and paintings.

These are soon to go on show as part of the fundraising campaign.

Purpleman said a York art gallery owner is to stage an exhibition of the children’s artworks, and “the art will not be ‘sold’ but people may take them home in return for an optional donation. All proceeds will be used to buy toys.”

The location and dates for the exhibition will be announced at a later date.