Flowers laid at statue of HMV mascot Nipper the dog after store’s collapse


A solitary bouquet of flowers was laid at a statue of the iconic HMV dog Nipper.

The stone carving sits on the side of a commercial building in central Bristol which was once home to the terrier in the late 19th Century.

An anonymous card placed alongside the flowers contained a heartfelt message following the demise of the High Street music chain.

The statue of ‘Nipper’ the HMV dog

It read: “With deepest sympathy. Thinking of you, Nipper, the HMV dog. You brought music into all our lives. Love always.”

Nipper belonged to Mark Barraud, a scenic designer at the old Prince’s Theatre in Park Row, Bristol.

After Barraud’s death in 1887 Nipper was inherited by his brother Francis, who noticed how the dog would stare at the gramophone whenever a recording of his late owner was played.

The heartfelt message left by a saddened HMV fan

Francis painted the scene – entitled ‘His Masters Voice’ – and the Gramophone Company later bought the rights to it.

The record company became known as HMV in 1908 and opened its first shop in London in 1921.

The Prince’s Theatre is now owned by Bristol University and is called the Merchant Venturers Building.

A passer-by stops to admire the flowers left in memory of the ailing chain

A heritage blue plaque alongside the statue of Nipper reads: “His masters voice.

“Mark Barraud 1848-1887 owner and master of Bristol born dog Nipper, 1884-1895 was employed as a scenic designer in the old Prince’s Theatre in Park Row.”

The music and video chain has been forced to call in administrators, after a disappointing Christmas failed to deliver enough sales to keep the business afloat.

The statue is on the corner of a busy intersection in Bristol

At a store in the centre of Bristol, angry customers demanded the shop accept gift cards, many of which had been given as Christmas presents.

A worker at the store, who asked not to be named, said he had dealt with dozens of people who were annoyed they wouldn’t be able to use their gift cards.

He said: “It’s a joke. People must have seen us on the news and thought they could see what they can get away with.

“Everybody is shocked we might be closing down – I only found out last night and I’ve no idea what I’m meant to do now.

“It’s such a shame.

“HMV is a British institution, like tea and crumpets.”

HMV has been a high street stalwart for more than 90 years

The chain have been slashing prices in a bid to drum-up much-needed revenue.

Currently, there is a massive ‘blue cross’ sale, knocking an additional 25 per cent of the price of most products, many of which are already on sale.

However, they are not accepting any refunds, meaning the thousands of people who paid a deposit to pre-order ‘must-have’ titles like Grand Theft Auto V may have lost their money.



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