He's alive! Sidmouth mannequin brought to life to give generous donors a Good Friday shock

PUBLISHED: 12:15 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 25 April 2019

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2827. Picture: Terry Ife

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2827. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A 'mannequin man' disguised himself as one of Sidmouth's most famous residents to raise money.

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2828. Picture: Terry IfeA real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2828. Picture: Terry Ife

Sid and Alma will be known to those who have wandered along Sidmouth Esplanade. They are the two mannequins stationed outside Sidmouth Lifeboat and collect money for the seafarers.

A professional living mannequin performer, with more than 25 years of experience, offered to help when he heard the story of the pair.

Mark Clay, who is know as the 'Mannequin Man', contacted the lifeboat to offer his services.

Mark is known for wearing elaborate mannequin disguises amd has appeared on television programmes such as SMArt, Tricky TV and Bid TV.

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2825. Picture: Terry IfeA real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2825. Picture: Terry Ife

He donned a lifejacket and helmet to blend in on Sidmouth's seafront and the authentic disguise worked well as passers-by were shocked to see a moving Sid.

Some even asked Mark is he was real, wondering whether he was a robot.

The Mannequin Man was a hit with children, with many giving Mark a high-five, shaking his hand and having their picture taken with him.

Mark raised £280 for Sidmouth Lifeboat and the crew thanked him for his efforts as well as everyone who donated.

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2820. Picture: Terry IfeA real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2820. Picture: Terry Ife

Sid and Alma's notoriety went nationwide in 2006 when they faced a threat of banishment following a complaint from a resident about the legality of collecting money on the Esplanade.

A widespread campaign to save the pair followed, with national and regional newspapers as well as the BBC reporting on the threat. In 2007, the pair were saved after 4,000 people signed petitions to keep them in situ.

East Devon District Council's licensing committee agreed to recommend that Sid and Alma be allowed to remain and their future has been safe ever since

Sid and Alma are a vital asset to Sidmouth Lifeboat which is an independent lifeboat station funded entirely by donations.

A real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2817. Picture: Terry IfeA real life Mannequin Man surprised people by moving when they donated to Sidmouth Lifboat. Ref shs 17 19TI 2817. Picture: Terry Ife

Standing outside, whatever the weather, the pair raise more than £15,000 in donations each year.

They entertain visitors from across the country as many take photographs with the pair.

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