`

Great North Dog Walk founder wants topiary tribute to be lit up at Christmas

Tony Carlisle with the Topiary Dog
Tony Carlisle with the Topiary Dog

The founder of the world’s biggest dog walk is keeping his fingers crossed that a topiary statue to celebrate the event will be lit up at Christmas.

Tony Carlisle hopes the dog, put in place three years ago on the roundabout near to the New Crown pub, on South Shields seafront, will be included in this year’s lighting schedule.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed the council will light the dog up this year.

Tony Carlisle

A similar statue of a man, to symbolise the Great North Run, which is situated next to the dog, is lit up each year.

Mr Carlisle said: “We have waited a long time for this to happen. It’d be great if it could be made to look like a reindeer next to Santa.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed the council will light the dog up this year.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “The council fully supports the Great North Dog Walk every year as one of the borough’s biggest charity events and has a great deal of respect for all those who make it a success.

“Last year the council installed a topiary dog to sit alongside the Running Man – another permanent feature, which recognises South Tyneside’s role in the Great North Run.

“It would be nice to include this new structure to our Christmas decoration shopping list, and we will give it some consideration.

“However, it is important to note that ongoing funding cuts from central government have meant we have had to reduce spend on Christmas lights significantly over recent years.”

The Great North Dog Walk attracts thousands of people to the area, each year.