Painted gorilla's future clearly mapped out
A WESTBURY retirement village has welcomed an unusual new resident – a painted gorilla.
Maporilla was won by St Monica Trust in a raffle run by Stanfords in Corn Street.
Caroline Bowler, manager of the map and travel book shop, commissioned Maporilla after the success of the Wow! Gorilla trail held in Bristol last year.
She said: "We were one of the sponsors of Crystal Eyes and we had the statue in the window of the shop. It caused such a stir and really drew people in. When all the gorillas were auctioned off we really missed it.
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"We would have liked to have bought Crystal Eyes but it was too expensive – we were thrilled they all raised so much for such a great cause though. In the end we decided to buy another plain white gorilla and we asked an artist to paint her."
Rebecca Howard created a Harbourside map to be painted over the gorilla and it was christened Maporilla.
Earlier this year the shop decided to hold a charity raffle with the chance to win the gorilla. The news of the winner was a poignant one for the shop manager, daughter of Bristol actor Norman Bowler.
In June this year Mr Bowler, famous for his role as Harry Hawkins in BBC TV police drama Softly, Softly, and Frank Tate in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, lost his wife Diana to motor neurone disease. She spent her last days at St Monica Trust.
Liz Leaman, care home manager at St Monica Trust, said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have won the gorilla, especially as St Monica Trust has always been very involved in anything 'Bristol', and I have a few of my own mini versions, and gorillas are my favourite animal!"