Tag Archives: Gromit


Shaun in the City

Hamish from Shaun in the City TrailShaun the Sheep is having a very good year. With a blockbuster autobiographical movie under his belt, he’s now going on tour.

Yes, Shaun in the City  is happening this spring and summer, with 120 giant Shaun the Sheep sculptures, created by a variety of famous artists, designers and celebrities, gracing the streets of both London and Bristol.

I’m just a simple sheep (albeit from the ovis aries branch of the animal world, which, you may not be aware, is quite a prestigious family line). I mean, I come from humble beginnings, from a minor part in A Close Shave, where admittedly, I stole the show, and now here I am, an international superstar. I just can’t believe it,” says Shaun, humbly. Allegedly.

70 sculptures will be seen around Bristol from 6th July to 31st August, in all shapes and forms.

Then all sculptures, including those from the London tour will feature in the ‘Great Sheep Round Up’ in Bristol from 12th to 20th September, with all 120 sculptures on display.

At the end of the tour, the sculptures will be sold at auction to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity and The Grand Appeal.

Artist Ros Franklin

In 2013, Ros Franklin created Dog Rose Gromit sponsored by AC Services for the “Gromit Unleashed” initiative which raised a phenomenal amount for the Grand Appeal.

We were delighted to hear that this year, Ros is contributing with a Shaun the Sheep sculpture called Hamish in Paternoster Square, London for sponsors Walkers Shortbread Ltd . We hope that Walkers have as much fun with their sponsorship as we did last time

Good Causes

Both the Gromit and Shaun in the City trails support the Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Grand Appeal http://www.grandappeal.org.uk/ to raise money for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) at St Michael’s Hospital and other children’s hospitals across the UK.

The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, has raised over £31 million since 1995 supporting babies and children at Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at St Michael’s Hospital, with the provision of vital equipment, patient activities, new services and family accommodation.

Enjoy the fun

greatest dog show on earth From now until 25th May you can see 50 Shaun the Sheep outside in London.

Or why not wait until the 70 come to Bristol in July and August and join us at AC Services Southern having fun Shaun-spotting, Shaun-trailing and above all raising some money for the Grand Appeal before the September exhibition of all 120 in Bristol like the Gromits Unleashed in 2013.

Kindly note image and references are covered by ®Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Registered Charity No. 1043603 ©/TM Aardman/Wallace & Gromit Ltd 2012


Published Date: 14th April 2015
Category: Blog, Events, Gromit Unleashed, News
Tags: ,



Gromit’s Grand Asian Adventure

Dog Rose GromitWhen something is good, it goes global. And it’s cracking news for the creators of the concept, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, as it has been adopted by Asia and has broken into the Hong Kong market.

For those of you who have been following the saga of the canine concept, this is a major step forward for the cause. For those unaware of the Gromit Unleashed fundraising scheme, it was established in 1995 and has since raised over £27 million for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Last year AC Services was the proud sponsor of Dog Rose Gromit for the Bristol trail.

Opened earlier this week and dubbed “The Greatest Dog Show on Earth,” Gromit Unleashed in Hong Kong features a display of 70 Gromit sculptures on an ornate, two-tier carousel band.

The sculptures are between 3m and 5m in height and the centrepiece is a stunning 4m high Gromit ‘G.R.M.T’, designed by Gavin Strange himself (self confessed “creative berk working as Senior Designer for Aardman by day and going under the alias of JamFactory by night.”) Truly dogs as far as the eye can see!

Signed Up Celebrities

More than fifty designers signed up for the event, including Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit, and celebrity milliner Philip Treacy, (whose day job is to supply headwear to the Royal family) as well as numerous other artists, illustrators, fashion designers and musicians.

This is the first time that the event has taken place outside the UK, and shoppers at the Elements Mall in Hong Kong have been delighted with the sculptures. The exhibition is scheduled to last until 31st August.

At the end of the exhibition, the giant sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and children’s art programmes in hospitals across Hong Kong.

Cracking Start

The launch of the event was highly publicised and attended by some of Asia’s biggest names in fashion and art. One of the beneficiaries is Art in Hospital, whose director, Grace Cheng, said:

To re-create the “Greatest Dog Show on Earth” for the first time in Asia, over 60 local and international artists have generously participated in the campaign to design an array of one-of-a-kind looks for world-famous Gromit. All Gromit sculptures will go to auction after the exhibition, to raise funds for our organization in Hong Kong, and another children’s charity in the UK. This focus on helping children in need makes the campaign even more meaningful.”

AC Services (Southern) has been heavily involved with the Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Grand Appeal to raise money for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) at St Michael’s Hospital.

Sadly, despite quite a few hissy fits, tears and tantrums, none of the staff were allowed to attend the event in Hong Kong, because repairing and maintaining Rational ovens was considered more important!


Published Date: 29th July 2014
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



I know what you did last summer!

AC Services Office staff with Dog Rose GromitAs those who keep a close eye on our site will know, AC Services (Southern) has been heavily involved with the Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Grand Appeal. Last year we sponsored a Gromit to raise money for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) at St Michael’s Hospital.

And this week, there is cause for celebrations and hearty congratulations all round!

Million Dollar Babies

The news has come through that the current overall fundraising total stands at a staggering £27 million thanks in part to the Gromit Unleashed project, which alone raised a phenomenal £3.8 million for the cause.  To put this into the context of amazing achievements, during an average year the Grand Appeal, which has been operating since 1995, normally raises around £1 million. The princely sum of £3.8 million was raised in just 18 months!

£2.3 million was raised through auctioning 92 Gromits of varying sizes, which were created by local artists, designers and celebrities. This of course, included AC Services very own creation, Dog Rose, lovingly created by Ros Franklin!

For 16 days last summer, Bristol was taken over by fans of this iconic and world-renowned canine, who incidentally (and not a lot of people know this), graduated from Dogwarts University with a double first in Engineering for Dogs.

The other £1.5m came from events, such as the Gromit Unleashed trail, with 1.18 million people alone visiting the Gromit Unleashed trail and exhibition this summer. 42% came from around the UK reflecting the support of a nation in a worthy cause.

Scan Through

The funds raised have gone to finance a new intraoperative MRI scanner, only the second of its kind in the UK, and one of just a handful in Europe. With the capacity to scan patients in the operating room in real-time, the state-of-the-art equipment will revolutionise surgery for sick children.

Michael Carter, consultant neurosurgeon at the hospital, said that the scanner will allow his team to operate on tiny areas of the brain. He said: “The machine gives us image guidance capacity. At the moment, we have to bring patients round, re-scan them, and then they have another operation . Now we can do it all in one operation. The more complete removal of tumours will increase survival rates.”

The amount raised has spurred organisers to aim for higher with a second phase of the appeal aimed at raising a further £1.2m for life saving equipment and family oriented services at the hospital.


Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal was established in 1995 and has since raised over £27 million to support a wide range of life-saving medical equipment, family accommodation, and patient comforts, along with a programme of arts, music, education and play facilities in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

AC Services are delighted to have been able to help this worthy cause through sponsoring a Gromit in 2013.


Published Date: 23rd April 2014
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



Gromits Unleashed to the Four Corners of the Globe

The streets of Bristol seem eerily quiet. A distant bell tolls and a dry wind stirs up an eddy of dust sending tumbleweed tumbling across the empty pavements. Solitary shoppers, looking lost, stare vacantly as if searching for once familiar landmarks. But the Gromits have gone.

That’s a bit of an exaggeration, and a little unfair to an amazing city, but for 69 days Bristol was transformed by Gromit Unleashed – an invasion of Gromits that injected colour, drama, comedy and beauty into almost every corner of the City. The Gromits spearheaded a huge fund-raising campaign aiming to raise £3.5 million for The Grand Appeal in aid of Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Each Gromit had a local or national sponsor, including Dog Rose, the gorgeous Gromit sponsored by AC Services. But, on Sunday, September 8th, the project came to an end. The last Gromit was removed and now they are to be sold at auction.


We all had a last chance to say our goodbyes at The Greatest Dog Show on Earth, held in Clifton, Bristol, which was extended to include Monday 23rd – up ‘til 8 p.m. It was the final opportunity to see all 80 glorious Gromits gathered together before they are scattered to the four corners of the globe. On Thursday, October 3rd, collectors from around the world will be able to bid for these unique sculptures, which were created by some of the best-known names in art, animation, design and entertainment. The auction will be run by Sotheby’s auctioneer and TV antiques presenter Tim Wonnacott. All proceeds are going to The Grand Appeal.

Gromit Unleashed has been an amazing success with media coverage in newspapers, radio and TV across the world. The project has had fantastic support, not just from the public, but from local businesses as well, including AC Services. Our Facebook page has tracked the whole story right from the beginning as Chef and Bert, our two mascots, visited every single Gromit in the city. And that included a trip to London to see Original Gromit on the station platform at Paddington.

We don’t yet know the total of money raised for The Grand Appeal, but we do know that AC Services’ contribution has been over £600 from the “Likes” we have received on our Facebook page and a local figurine raffle. Thank you for helping us support this great cause.


We can announce that the winner of the replica figurine of Dog Rose in our customer prize draw was Adrian Gosztonyi of Marlborough College Catering Department – congratulations Adrian! Marlborough College has been a regular service customer of AC Services for 9 years now and we hope Dog Rose will take pride of place in their catering department.

We also ran a competition along with local school St. Mary’s C.E. Primary School, Yate for the best drawing of (our) Gromit and had an amazing response. The winner, with this sensational canine portrait was Owen Walker, year 2. Runner up the painting in blue, was Jodi Palmer, year 5.

Bristol may seem a little duller now without the spark of colour and humour that Gromit Unleashed brought to the city’s streets. But it’s also shown what a fantastic community spirit exists there and demonstrates just what can be achieved when people get behind an idea and make it happen.


Published Date: 23rd September 2013
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



Spread the Gromit News

A C Services has been hitting the news in traditional newspapers and on-line through social media in its efforts to raise more money for Bristol Children’s Hospital through the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

For anyone Liking A C Services facebook page,  the company will contribute 50p to the fund. So the cost to those who like is nothing and up to £1,000 could be raised for the Hospital.

The Local Papers

‘’YATE company A C Services (Southern) Ltd is hoping Gromit spotters and social networkers will help them raise plenty of cash for charity.’’ The Gazette series. To read more

The main news supporter of Gromit Unleashed and founding sponsor is of course the Bristol Post, where on Friday 19th July,  our Dog Rose Gromit was the masthead. To see all the Gromits and follow the news see the Bristol Post.

The Trade Press

‘’Commercial combi ovens and animated TV series Wallace & Gromit don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, but they mean something to one catering equipment service company this summer.’’ Catering Insight.  To read more.

The Specialist Press

“Artists from around the world were invited to come up with a design using the theme “Gromit Unleashed”. As a botanical artist my idea came in a flash….  Assuming “unleashed” to mean free or wild, Gromit is a dog, and as an illustrator of plants…. Well it just had to be Rosa canina, the Dog Rose!!With this idea in my head the first sketches were completed before Christmas last year, and the fully detailed submissions were due by mid-January.

I was telephoned in mid-February to be told (prior to the short listing of artists) that my design was accepted and that they wished to deliver my sculpture as soon as possible because they wanted to make small figurines from the design once it was completed, so time was of the essence! I had been selected out of over 800 applications – this was now getting scary.”

Ros Franklin the Artist in Palette & Petal, Journal of the South West Society of Botanical Artists. To read more please contact the Society.

Helping Us to Help Bristol’s Children’s Hospital

We’d like to thank all these for sharing our news and helping us towards our £1,000 target.

Why not help us spread the news, so together we can raise more money for the Children’s Hospital- just like our Facebook page and share the link.


Published Date: 1st August 2013
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



Dog Rose Gromit needs your help….

This summer A C Services are very proud to be sponsoring one of the giant Gromit statues that can be found throughout Bristol from July until September.

Gromit Unleashed is a massive fund-raising project for Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal in aid of the Bristol Childrens Hospital and we are asking for your help.

Just go to our Facebook page and all you need to do is ‘like’ us and we will donate 50p for each like up to a maximum of £1,000.

We are also giving away one of the Dog Rose Gromit figurines to a lucky customer, so why not enter the draw at the same time.

Our beautifully painted Gromit “Dog Rose” can be found outside Tyndale Baptist Church on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. He has been lovingly created by Ros Franklin and joins 79 other Gromits that were unleashed on 1st July.

If you do get a chance to visit Bristol this summer please stop by and say hello to Dog Rose. Please join in the summer fun and upload your photos with him for all to share on our Facebook page. Thank you for your help.


Published Date: 12th July 2013
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



A C Services Gromit unleashed

Well, the countdown is finally over. AC Services’ Gromit is officially Unleashed on the streets of Bristol. And what a cracking Gromit he is!

Bearing the rather embarrassing (for an all-action-hero dog like Gromit) name of ““Dog Rose”– our Gromit has been lovingly created by the amazing botanical painter and illustrator, Ros Franklin, and will hold pride of place in Bristol’s Whiteladies Road outside Tyndale Baptist Church until September 8th.

As you can see from the photo, he features a beautifully painted and very apt wild dog rose entwined around his torso. The painting represented many hours of painstaking, detailed work by Ros and I think reflects well the AC Services’ approach to maintaining and repairing Rational ovens (forgive the obvious plug!)

Exotic Company

“Dog Rose” joins 80 other Gromits which were unleashed on the city of Bristol on July 1st and he will be in exotic company. Famous artists and celebrities from across the world have all contributed Gromits, from cartoonist Gerald Scarfe to fashion designer Sir Paul Smith and from Joanna Lumley with her absolutely fabulous, poetry-covered Gromit to Jools Holland and his musical Bumble Boogie Gromit. The Royal Mint has contributed a National Treasure Gromit covered in 10,000 brand new one penny coins, including a specially commissioned Gromit medallion. Even The Beano’s Gnasher has managed to gate-crash Gromit’s party with his Gnashional Gromit – covered in extracts of original Beano artwork.

But, the most exciting news for us is that, Dog Rose our AC Services Gromit, has been chosen as one of the mini Gromit ceramic figurines which are being sold as official Gromit Unleashed merchandise to raise money for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

Win your own Gromit

And we are giving away one of these unique Gromit figurines to a lucky customer. If you get your Rational oven serviced by AC Services during the 10 weeks of the Gromit Unleashed event, which runs from July 1st to September 8th, just go to our Facebook page  and enter the draw. We’ll be drawing the lucky winner from the list of eligible entries on September 9th.

After the trail has ended the Gromits will be auctioned off to raise money for The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity. To find out more, visit their website at www.grandappeal.org.uk or www.gromitunleashed.org.uk


Published Date: 1st July 2013
Category: Blog, Gromit Unleashed, News



Gromits Invade Bristol

Wallace & Gromit Grand appeal logoOur engineers have had to solve some strange problems with ovens in their time, but none quite as bizarre as the robotic oven that confronted Wallace & Gromit on their Grand Day Out. If you recall, the oven lived on the moon and sprang into life when Wallace put a coin in its slot as they wandered around the moon’s surface collecting cheese. After attempting to whack Wallace over the head with a truncheon, the cooker tries to hitch a ride on their rocket back to earth so it can learn to ski, but is thwarted by a large explosion.

The link from Wallace & Gromit to AC Services (Southern) may seem a bit tenuous. But there is one. We specialise in repairing, maintaining and servicing Rational ovens and cooking centres, not on the moon, but in professional kitchens in the south and south west of England and in south Wales. And we have decided to sponsor one of the 70 giant fibreglass sculptures of Gromit that are forming a huge art exhibition in Bristol this summer called Gromit Unleashed!

Grand Appeal

Each of the sculptures is being individually designed and created by invited artists from across the world and will be placed in public spaces, indoors and out, across Bristol and the surrounding area. The exhibition starts on July 5th 1st and ends on September 7th after which all the Gromits will be auctioned off in aid of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity.

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal fundraises to support sick children and babies at Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Founded in 1995, the Appeal has raised over £21 million towards the first purpose built children’s hospital in the UK and continues to support by funding pioneering medical care and equipment, arts, music and play programmes and accommodation for the sickest children and their families. See www.grandappeal.org.uk

I can’t say much more at this stage as all of us sponsors are bound to keep our chosen Gromit a secret for the time being. It is exciting, though, to be taking part in such a huge show of support from the business community in and around Bristol for the Children’s Hospital. It will be a fantastic draw for the city throughout the summer and, best of all, it is raising money for an amazing cause.

But you can act now for Comic Relief!

By the way, there is still time to support our other charitable project which is for Comic Relief. As you may have read in our a previous blog, one of AC Services Southern’s customers with a Rational oven, chef Richard Davies, is taking part in the Welsh regional heat of BBC Two’s Great British Menu.

Richard, who is the executive chef at The Manor House Hotel (Bybrook Restaurant), in Castle Combe,  will be on our screens on Monday 18th March and will be featuring his Great British Menu at his restaurant as part of Menu Relief during the series. All you have to do is like our Facebook page before his heat and we will donate a £1 to Comic Relief.

Kindly note image and references are covered by ®Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Registered Charity No. 1043603 ©/TM Aardman/Wallace & Gromit Ltd 2012


Published Date: 15th March 2013
Category: Blog, News