From delivering butter to meeting royals: legendary donkey dies aged 38

  • From delivering butter to keeping royals company, the life of a special donkey has been celebrated by an equine charity.

    Brooke’s Aberdeenshire community fundraising group’s “best-known member”, Porridge, died on 20 July aged 38.

    Throughout his long life, Porridge helped the charity raise nearly £150,000.

    “Even in his later years he was such an enormous character,” said Porridge’s owner Diana Milligan.

    “He loved new experiences and even after all this time there were things we realised he hadn’t done — last year we took him for a summer solstice ride at the seaside.

    “Whenever we got the trailer out he would bound up the ramp, it was as if he couldn’t wait to go on new adventures.”

    Porridge and Ms Milligan’s charitable work together dates back to 1987.

    That year, Porridge was used to help the Royal Voluntary Service disperse the 1987 EU’s “butter mountain”, when 1.23 million tons of butter was bought by the European commission to help struggling farmers.

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    Porridge and Ms Milligan travelled round the community delivering the butter to elderly residents.

    From then on, the pair worked to promote equine charity Brooke.

    Porridge was involved in a fundraising fashion show in the ballroom at the Marcliffe Hotel, where he met the Duchess of Cornwall.

    He was also taken to a charity screening of War Horse at the Community theatre in Aboyne, where he appeared on stage as a Brooke ambassador.

    More recently, Porridge met Joey, the National Theatre War Horse puppet. He also came face to face with Lincoln, the horse who played Joey for the National Theatre War Horse during Horseman’s Sunday at the 2014 World War I commemoration at Glen Tanar.

    “Porridge’s charitable services will always be remembered and greatly valued by the Brooke,” said a charity spokesman.

    To donate to Brooke in Porridge’s memory click here.

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