Dragon from Wellingborough’s Arndale Centre to be restored to former glory

Dan Hurn from Wellingborough Museum with Arnie the dragon
Dan Hurn from Wellingborough Museum with Arnie the dragon

A dragon loved by generations of shoppers is set to be restored so it can become an attraction for youngsters once more.

The Arndale Dragon used to be a much loved part of Wellingborough’s Arndale Centre, the shopping centre now known as the Swansgate Centre, in the 80s and 90s.

The Arndale Dragon in its heyday

The Arndale Dragon in its heyday

But when the shopping centre was refurbished, it moved to the Green Dragon pub in Higham Ferrers where it spent several years.

Many years of play have taken their toll on the dragon and it has been out of use for about two years.

However, it is set to have a makeover after being taken in by Wellingborough Museum in the hope that some love and attention can return it to its former glory as a dragon which youngsters can crawl through and make memories to look back on in years to come.

Robert Wharton from Wellingborough Museum said: “I think it went in the mid-90s when they refurbished the Swansgate Centre.

The dragon is in need of repair

The dragon is in need of repair

“It’s coming back to the museum and will be seriously guarded.

“It’s going to be outdoors, bringing it out when the weather is better, but we are going to play it by ear.”

The museum recently put a post on its Facebook page about the dragon taking up residency with them and Mr Wharton said the response has been great.

He said: “It has been the biggest reaction we have had on Facebook.”

The Arndale Dragon back in the day

The Arndale Dragon back in the day

Mr Wharton said lots of grandparents remember watching their grandchildren playing on the dragon while the parents went shopping.

Another person got in touch to recall the time when they lost their child in the shopping centre and couldn’t find him anywhere until they discovered him asleep under the dragon.

Carpenter Perry Allen, who has a business in Northampton, has offered to carry out the restoration work for free.

It has been decided that the dragon will now be known as Arnie and he will definitely be back once he has been restored and he reverts back to his original brown colour.