Council says sorry after workman removes Paignton yarnbombs
RESIDENTS are needled after a public display of art by mysterious 'guerrilla knitters' was removed by a Torbay Council employee.
The colourful, knitted flowers have been appearing on railings, lamp posts and trees along the walkway from Roundham Gardens down to Goodrington.
But earlier this week dog walkers and residents were outraged when they saw the knitting being cut down and thrown in a bin.
Torbay Council now wants to apologise to the secret knitters.
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Catherine Dolby, of Roundham Crescent, Goodrington, said: "Somebody knitted loads and loads of pretty flowers. I never saw the person who made them but so much work had gone into them.
"But I saw a council worker cutting them all off and putting them in the bins.
"When I asked him why, he said 'There's way too many of them now'. To see him cutting them all off was really upsetting. All that was left was one little flower on a palm tree.
"I felt really outraged. About half a dozen people were all complaining to him."
"I phoned Torbay Council to complain. The next day I had a telephone call from the council's environmental health department saying there had been complaints and they were treating the knitted flowers as graffiti."
James Noone, a Roundham resident and Paignton businessman, said: "I met one old lady who said her husband died at Christmas, and the only thing that still made her smile was the flowers.
"We don't know who is doing it but judging by the knitting, I think it might by older women.
"They were really pretty, there were lots of them, all different types."
Guerrilla knitting has become a worldwide phenomena in recent years. It is also known as yarn bombing, yarnstorming, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.
While yarn bombs may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously.
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "Unfortunately, a number of yarn bombing items in the Roundham Gardens and Goodrington Park area were removed following a breakdown in communication between council departments.
"An officer who removed them had not been made aware another department had given permission for them to be put up. We are trying to contact those who have been involved in putting up these items so we can apologise. They will be allowed to put up more items."