Purpleman has quit his bike – and his pitch on Stonegate.
With well-wishers queuing up to give their best wishes, York’s most colourful character confessed it had been an emotional day.
Purpleman flies off to the Turkish-Syrian border on Thursday morning (December 17).
It is his latest and biggest mission to spread some joy among children who have lost so much in the war in Syria.
This time he is running a crowdfunding campaign to buy them new toys from a supplier in Turkey. Purpleman will travel around in a purple bus handing out soft toys to the young refugees, including on Christmas Day.
He held his farewell party in the Pyramid Gallery on Stonegate, close to where he has posed on his purple bike for so many years.
The gallery is also holding an exhibition of postcards made from pictures the Syrian children drew and gave to Purpleman on his last visit.
During the last few hours before he departed, people were stuffing his collection buckets with notes, high-five-ing him and shaking his hand. On his last day he appeared on Radio Five Live hours after being on BBC Look North.
“It’s the end of Purpleman on a bike,” he told YorkMix.
“I hope to demonstrate by bombing Syria with toys that love is more powerful than hate and violence.
“If these children are to have an optimistic and positive future then they need hearts full of love now.”
Will we see him again in York? “That’s the end of Purpleman on a bike, but Purpleman will be around doing things – but not in a street context.”
A film about Purpleman will be shown at City Screen in the New Year.
His message: “Keep on loving purple. Focus on all the good things in the world, and just be awesome.”
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