16 June 2024

A grand day out for the Grinch

by Terry Bearpark

There have been quite a few films about the Grinch, a larger-than-life character who wanted to steal Christmas.

Last Sunday Holderness’s own Grinch, 38-year-old Dave Gelder, made the trip on foot from Withernsea to Hull with just one aim – to collect as much money as possible for a charity close to his heart, Hull4Heroes.

Accompanied by his elf friend, Steve Platten, and co-villain Connor Londesborough, the troublesome trio left Withernsea at 8am and traveled through all the villages along the A1033, complete with collecting buckets.

Along the way, many residents and motorists stopped to donate cash to show their support, and he was joined at various points by others, including Father Christmas at Thorngumbald.

Dave caused mayhem in several pubs along the route but came out of them satisfied after parting customers from their cash, and there were some allegations that Christmas trees were also parted from the premises, but that is what the Grinch does.

The trio eventually arrived at the Hull offices of Hull 4 Heroes at 5pm, after covering some 31 miles, but it was all worthwhile as they expect to have raised more than £1,000 for the charity, devoted to armed forces personnel.

Dave said: “It went amazingly – and we couldn’t have picked a better day to do it. The number of people that stopped and beeped us on was unbelievable. I did cause some mischief, though, robbing a tree, causing traffic jams, and chucking water on the bar manager who asked me to be naughty and was quite shocked when I was – but it was all fun, and all for charity.”

Increasingly, veterans return from service to find they do not have the support network and resources to meet their most basic needs. When their resources are depleted, these veterans can become homeless and without hope.

Hull4 Heroes aims to ensure that their transition back into civilian life and regular employment is as seamless as possible.

Its ever-growing network of support creates homes, provides education, and sources employment for veterans that have put their lives on the line in the name of their country and its people.

The charity also runs two talking groups. Geo was set up in memory of George “Geo” Ellis, a former soldier who took his own life in 2021. Lisa was set up in memory of Lisa Bateman, who took her own life in 2020. Both organizations help serving and former service personnel talk among people who understand them.

Dave is well known for raising funds for good causes. He organizes the annual Party in the Park at Burstwick’s playing fields. This year’s event on Saturday, July 20, will be in aid of the Hull charity.

Although completely drained from his trek, Dave, reprising his role as the Grinch, was at Burstwick on Monday evening and Thorngumbald on Tuesday. For more information visit hull4heroes.org.uk, or call 01482 534483.