The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Concrete hippopotamus mystery


Love this concrete hippopotamus sculpture, on the cover of English Heritage’s guidence document on Local Listing, published this month.   Actually he is one of four, all look like they come out of the same mould.  This one’s a bit chipped on the hoof, but otherwise in  really great shape (nice aggregate!).  The herd can be found in Killingworth, North Tyneside, but not much seems to be know about them (can our NORTH EAST GROUP help out?).   They are much more realistic than their very popular relation in Walsall–see below.







The Walsall hippo is much more cartoonish, but equally sit-able upon. BBC Black Country tried in vain to find out about him, but comments on

show just how loved he is (hope he’s Locally Listed too).  Any other concrete hippos out there?–I’d love one for my garden…

Concrete hippo fan mail from the BBC site follows: Kerry Welsh: All of my friends met at the hippo in the early 80’s. I have a memory of a pink monkey on his back at some point, anyone else remember?

Paul Clifford: Always used “the Hippo” as a meeting place throughout the late 70s and the 80s – was gutted when they moved it a “short distance”!

Luke Clements I have seen this Hippo move around since the Eighties.A pigeon statue might be more relevant to the town.

Diane I walk past him every day on the way to work, and he always bring a smile to my face, love him to bits !!!

Paul Takes me back to my school days in the late eighties! It was a meeting place on a Saturday when you had a date from school!

wendy mills My two love the hippo! Let him stay

Vince The Hippos great but I worry about the reason for having a two-faced Roman God nearby!

Kieron Young I think its bostin.



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