The ‘wrong trousers’ were the required dress code for a lunchtime gathering on Tuesday June 18th in the Legislative Buildings’ Barool Suite when Wallace and Gromit took centre stage.
The cheese-loving double act were in the Isle of Man on a three-day visit in partnership with Lloyds TSB as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Wrong Trousers Day, a UK-wide event in aid of the Wallace and Gromit children’s charity which raises funds to improve the quality of life for children in hospitals and hospices.
Arranged by Mr Tony Wild MLC, Department of Education and Children member, the visit to Tynwald provided an opportunity for the hapless inventor and his faithful dog to meet seven-year-old Sofie Thornton of Ashley Hill School and present her with a certificate for winning the Golden Trousers competition that had invited children in the Isle of Man to design a pair of ‘wrong trousers’ for Wallace. Her design was made up into two pairs of trousers especially for the occasion, one for Sofie, the other for ambassador to Wallace and Gromit children’s charity and avowed Isle of Man fan Bernie Hollywood who, to date, has raised more than £2 million for the cause.
Also present was Jim Parkyn from animators Aardman who had brought his models of Wallace and Gromit fresh from their appearance in the VisitEngland series of film advertisements.
Sofie was accompanied by her twin sister Jessica and parents Sharon and Hamish. Mrs Thornton explained: ‘Sofie’s been artistic from around the age of two. She spent a great deal of time researching on the internet and fortunately her class had recently completed a Wallace and Gromit project.’
Sporting a suitably ‘wrong’ pair of trousers Lloyds TSB Island director Peter Reid said the support for the charity shown by Manx parliamentarians demonstrated the essential approachability of the Manx legislature and government and he paid tribute to the legendary generosity of the people of the Isle of Man.
In a vote of thanks the President of Tynwald the Hon Clare Christian said the Plasticine pair ‘were not the usual characters’ seen in the precincts of Tynwald and congratulated Mr Reid and his colleagues on their fundraising efforts.