Close encounter as the Gruffalo visits Chorley

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The Gruffalo left behind the woods to meet hundreds of families at Chorley’s Astley Hall.

The popular children’s character – star of the The Gruffalo book by Julia Donaldson – was joined by illustrator Axel Scheffler.

They visited to launch a new exhibition, named The Art Of Axel Scheffler, on display in the hall’s art gallery.

It was part of The Gruffalo Experience, a day of gruffalo-related activities organised by Chorley Council. There was a gruffalo trail in the Walled Garden, a chance to meet some of the animals in the book and story-telling sessions.

The Gruffalo film was shown in the Coach House and visitors could have a first look at the art exhibition.

Coun Bev Murray, who is responsible for the Astley complex for the council, said: “We are extremely pleased that The Gruffalo Experience was so successful.

Two-year-old Jenson Reid-James meets the Gruffalo

Two-year-old Jenson Reid-James meets the Gruffalo

“We had so many happy children and parents come down to enjoy the opening of the Axel Scheffler exhibit. Everyone was really pleased with all the activities and had so much fun seeing Astley Hall and Coach House turn into a magical location where they could enjoy the theme of their favourite characters. We are very proud to be holding the Art Of Axel Scheffler exhibit at Astley Hall’s art gallery until December 20 and people of all ages are free to come down to enjoy the exhibition and admire some of the illustrator’s most popular work.”

The exhibition will be open from noon to 4.30pm every weekend and from Monday to Wednesday during school holidays. Ebb And Flo book shop is holding events with the Gruffalo at Astley Park next month, but tickets sold out in just two days.

The Gruffalo will also be at Cheeky Monkey’s play centre, in Whittle-le-Woods, from 10am to 2pm on Friday, October 16. There will be arts and crafts, stories, songs and dancing.

And on Monday, October 26, Chorley artist Wayne Hill will hold a session where children can use the Axel Scheffler exhibition to create their own monsters.

“We had so many happy children and parents come down to enjoy the opening of the Axel Scheffler exhibit. Everyone was really pleased with all the activities and had so much fun seeing Astley Hall and Coach House turn into a magical location where they could enjoy the theme of their favourite characters.”

Coun Bev Murray

To book, email astley.hall@chorley.gov.uk or call 01257 515151.