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Royal Armouries & CitySprint partnership creates animal magic at Light Night 2021

Monday, 8 November 2021
puppet horses entertaining crowds of people

Photo Credit: Charlotte Graham

The Royal Armouries brought an illuminated menagerie of giant animal puppets to Leeds Dock, as part of the UK’s largest annual arts and lights festival, proudly sponsored by CitySprint.

Thousands of visitors enjoyed two alternating shows featuring giant, moving animal puppets, inspired by the national collection of arms and armour, bringing the museum to life after dark. Giant elephant and soaring falcon puppets entertained audiences, whilst three Burrokeet-style horse puppets wowed visitors with a mock jousting tournament in front of the museum. The puppets were created by renowned West Yorkshire artists Handmade Parade.

Performances were accompanied by live music , and stilt walkers across both nights of the festival. The Royal Armouries’ museum menagerie linked to Light Night’s theme ‘Back to Nature’ celebrating some of the world’s natural wonders and the spectacular biodiversity of the animal kingdom, plants, trees and weather.

The Royal Armouries’ museum menagerie was sponsored by CitySprint, the UK’s largest same-day distribution company. Andy Parry, Service Centre Manager in Leeds, says;

“We are very proud to have joined The Royal Armouries Museum as a corporate partner to sponsor and make Leeds’ Light Night 2021 a reality. Community support is at the heart of what CitySprint does, and we are always looking for ways to go the extra mile to deliver an extraordinary experience. After such a difficult year, it was fantastic to help the local community come back together and enjoy the vibrant displays put on”.

CitySprint also co-ordinated the delivery of the puppets from the Handmade Parade Studio in Hebden Bridge to the Royal Armouries Museum over the two-day event.

The partnership between Royal Armouries and CitySprint, both Chamber members, was facilitated through a connection made at a West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce networking event in May 2021. Rebecca Lowe, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Royal Armouries says;

“When I heard that CitySprint were looking to support community events in the Leeds area, I knew that the museum’s special events programme was the perfect opportunity. Thank you to Chamber for arranging online networking sessions throughout lockdown to allow businesses to continue to connect and partner, and also for the Chamber’s recent focus on developing community and social impact opportunities for businesses”.

Delivery vans arriving at Royal Armouries Museum

CitySprint deliver the puppets to the Royal Armouries Museum

The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds has welcomed back thousands of visitors safely since reopening on 19 May. The museum is continuing to follow COVID-19 guidance for the safety for staff and visitors. Measures include limiting visitor numbers, additional cleaning procedures and wearing face coverings.

The Royal Armouries Museum has an exciting programme of special events throughout 2021 & 2022. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Rebecca Lowe, Corporate Partnerships Manager, on

elephant puppet entertains crowds at night

Photo Credit: Charlotte Graham

Illuminated giant horse puppets entertain crowds as knights in armour battle it out.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Graham


Notes to editors

Further enquiries to:

07919 626179

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.