A South Shore trader hit the headlines last week after her imaginative “yarn bombing” on a South Shore street was outlawed by council chiefs.
Susanne Johnson from Johnson’s wool and haberdashery shop in Bond Street knitted a host of wool decorations for lamp-posts to brighten up her neighbourhood.
One lamp-post is resplendent with imaginative monsters complete with googly eyes and comical feet, another has bee transformed into a tree with a cheeky squirrel.
But she was told they couldn’t stay by council chiefs.
She said: “It is such a shame. The knitting is not doing any harm. We have left a space for maintenance and have done no damage
“Yarn bombing has been done all over the world in some really beautiful places, Toronto, Australia, India, and Bristol so we thought how much more needed was it here and what better way to decorate our own area.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We’re happy to work with Mrs Johnson on ways to make South Shore a nicer area and more attractive to shoppers.
“People can’t just go about attaching things to lamp-posts and parking signs but if they speak to us first then are very amenable to helping people who are keen to brighten up their area.
“In this instance, we will speak to Mrs Johnson and come up with a solution that satisfies both parties.”
Sad, at least she is trying which is more than can be said for the council which has presided and helped an horrific decline - one way roads, no investment, poor parking provision etc
I applaud Mrs Johnson’s motivation but have to agree with Eon and the council that people can’t be allowed to adorn street furniture with whatever takes their fancy.
I’m sure Mrs. Johnson intends to maintain these covers she’s knitted but the same can’t be said for everyone who might take it upon themselves to ‘improve’ their area, in which case we’d be left with sodden, wind-battered strands of filthy yarn flapping across the pavement or obscuring the parking regulation signs.
Most lamp posts are already festooned with ancient zip ties and out-of-date flyers, not to mention the mawkish roadside tributes that people feel compelled to lash to the nearest post or fence.
They rarely seem to come back to clear away the mess of rotting vegetation and yellowing sellotape that’s left behind though.
Given that the council doesn’t have the time or money to vet all the daft things people seem to want to attach to lamp posts, it makes sense to simply impose a blanket ban
I remember the days that Bond Street was a thriving little shopping area and a nice place to be but it’s now dirty and run down and Waterloo Road is not much better.
I think they looked nice and they were high enough not to be peed on by dogs and of course Mr Johnson would have moved them come winter seen as they are right outside her home and she’s trying to improve Bond Street not run it down further
The intention was admirable to not only brighten up a very sad neglected area but also to encourage folk to visit a very unsupported part of town.
I was born and brought up on Bond Street, it was a thriving street when I was younger. Now it is run down and a disgrace, so why is the council moaning about someone trying to brighten the street up? They should be encouraging people, instead of being petty.
I walked past these last week and yes it made me and my children stop and look at it
I thought it was brilliant
Claire Louise Goose
Perhaps Blackpool needs to take a leaf out of Lytham’s book and actually encourage events that bring in business.
Well one thing for sure it makes people slow down driving and stop at the junction as it did me so I can’t see that being a bad thing
I enjoy knitting, and think wasting over £200 on wool is criminal, why not do something useful instead of adding to the shabbyness of South Shore?
If people actually asked for permission first instead of just doing it them then problems like this would not exist. But then again we can’t have the council not getting moaned at can we?
The street needs a total rethink, a conversion back to housing en masse or a total demolition.
The traders are trying and the best of luck to them. They would be better relocating if they are renting. If they own their properties I have nothing but sympathy for them.
They were fun,bright and eye catching.
A talking point, a photo opportunity, a bit of lightheartedness. Come on council help bring them back.
I thought Blackpool Council loved arts and crafts.
They look very pretty now, but come the winter, will Ms Johnson and friends be around to clear up the mess that will remain?
I have known Susanne for a couple of years and constantly she tries to bring great ideas to Bond Street to attract new shoppers but this is how the council react.
As a business owner myself it is frustrating and soul destroying to get the council to work more with local businesses
I live in Westhoughton in Lancashire and we have a tradition once a year of decorating our town with these they help fetch colour and tourists to our town
Its a good idea until some dosser’s dog cocks its leg up and has a slash on one.
I am happy to continue to pay my council tax to enable our town’s officers to continue to deal with these disgraceful lawbreakers!!! Drag them through the courts and throw the book at them, well done to the vigilant officers that spotted this blatant attempt to bring down the appearance of what is normally a beautiful street.
Saw all these the other day and thought they looked quite pretty and what a great idea to try and drum up some trade to a dying street.
is an ‘out of the box’ idea that should be applauded rather than frowned upon.
Let’s hope you can find a solution that satisfies both parties