Tod’s dog is lucky for town’s tourism

TV presenter Dawn Porter with Gemma Rowbottom , Sally Darlington and Kendall Rowbottom pat the head of the lucky dog in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden.
TV presenter Dawn Porter with Gemma Rowbottom , Sally Darlington and Kendall Rowbottom pat the head of the lucky dog in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden.

TOURISM in Todmorden has had a lucky boost after TV illusionist Derren Brown worked his magic on the town.

Visitors have been flocking to Centre Vale Park to see the now famous dog statue featured in last Friday’s show The Secret of Luck.

Mary Clear, of the Incredible Edible local food project, said: “Todmorden was very busy at the weekend and a lot of people have been spotted going up to look at the dog.

“There were definitely more visitors than usual. It’s fantastic.

“I think the show gently reminded people what beauty there is on their doorstep.

“The filming made Todmorden look very nice – it’s been lucky for the town.”

Darren Midgley, a member of Todmorden Civic Society, agreed the area had been portrayed well on the show, which was the final instalment of the four-part Channel 4 series The Experiments.

He said: “I think it really showed off the town’s best assets.

“The shots of the hillside around Stoodley Pike and the Calder Valley made it look like a really nice place, which I think it is.”

Local sculptor David Wynne, who created the famous dog, said he was pleasantly surprised his work had become a tourist attraction.

He said: “It was a big surprise because the sculpture had been there for a couple of years and had never really caught that much attention, then suddenly everyone starts talking about it and my phone started ringing.

“I’m pleased it’s popular. It’s not the greatest sculpture in the world but I like the way kids seem to like it and enjoy sitting on it.

“From a distance even dogs seem to think it’s a dog – they prick their ears up and look at it like they’re not quite sure what it is.

“It’s getting very muddy around the dog with people going to look at it.”

The statue has become such a local celebrity it even has its own Twitter account, @LuckyDog_Tod, which has attracted 69 followers since the weekend.

Gary Verity, chief executive of the county’s official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, said all the publicity was great news.

He said: “It was great to see Todmorden on prime time television.

“The town was shown in all its glory and I am sure this will help attract more visitors.

“Hopefully they will stay longer and spend a little bit more to help the tourism economy.”