The knitty problem of yarn-bombed eyesore telephone box

A famous Blackpool ice cream parlour is appealing for fans to get weaving and help get rid of a local eyesore.

Thursday, 20th April 2017, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:28 pm
The yarn-bombed telephone box outside Notarianni's in Waterloo Road Blackpool
The yarn-bombed telephone box outside Notarianni's in Waterloo Road Blackpool

The owners of Notarianni’s of Waterloo Road say that a telephone box outside the popular venue is a vandalised wreck and a haven for drug dealers.

They have been campaigning to get something done about it for years and at Easter local knitters highlighted the issue by yarn-bombing the eyesore to try to brighten it up.

Michael Vettese from the Notarianni family said customers loved the new look street furniture, but were left disappointed when the crochet wool decoration was removed early yesterday.

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He said: “Over the past couple of years it has been constantly vandalised and is a place where drug deals are done. This is a family shop ina family resort and we don’t want that sort of thing in the area, it brings it down. People can’t even use it, it just swallows money.

“We have been trying to get someone to deal with it for years but the council and BT said it was not their responsibility. Some friendly people in the area yarn-bombed it with a colourful, crochet cover. We were very busy at the weekend with families queueing outside and they loved it.

“People were taking photographs and videoing it. It caused quite a stir. We even had comments from people in Holland who say that yarn-bombing over there is a big thing and encouraged.

“But the crochet was taken away early on Wednesday by the council who had told us it was not their responsibility – and now we find out the company which owns it has applied to replace the box.

“Ideally we would like it not to be there. We have asked people to comment on the application. It just attracts trouble and the road sweeper is constantly having to clear up broken glass.”

Notarianni’s has its own set of yarn-bomb monsters that it puts out to amuse customers.

New World Payphones, part of the Clear Channel group, has started replacing London’s traditional red phone boxes with new black, slimline, wifi enabled versions with digital advertising and has submitted a planning application to the council to do the same on Waterloo Road.

A spokesman for Blackpool Council said the crochet was removed by a well-meaning street cleaner after a member of the public asked to use the box and would be kept safe until its owner claimed it.

They also confirmed a planning application had been received and would be looked at in due course.