Vandals leave Spalding’s knitting nannas in shreds

Flashback to July: Knitting nannas were all smiles when they revealed they were the ones behind the wool sculptures - (from left) are Shirley Payne, Carol Usher, Kitty Dickinson, and Jan Neale. SG150716-110TW
Flashback to July: Knitting nannas were all smiles when they revealed they were the ones behind the wool sculptures - (from left) are Shirley Payne, Carol Usher, Kitty Dickinson, and Jan Neale. SG150716-110TW
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Yarn bombing nannas who brightened up a Spalding riverbank with wool sculptures of the Queen and a colourful cat have been left in shreds by vandals who destroyed their art.

Jan Neale, the nanna dubbed “River Banksy”, first came up with the idea and fellow residents of Georgian Court, including Carol Usher and Kitty Dickinson (90), helped put together the 5ft-6ft figures that hid unsightly tree stumps.

This is the knitted queen in all her glory ...

This is the knitted queen in all her glory ...

Jeff Woods, who is married to Jan’s niece, said: “It is a rare thing when ordinary people decide to brighten up our world and to give us a smile.”

He says Jan and her friends are devastated because the figures were ripped from the tree stumps over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Jan told us: “To think someone has just come along and wrecked our hours of work and effort is just heart-breaking.

“People have asked us if we’ll do another one and we just don’t know, we’re too upset to think about it.”

And this is all that's left of the wool Queen ...

And this is all that's left of the wool Queen ...

The nannas spent hours knitting the figures.

Jan said: “The amount of wool used – not to mention room taken up in my flat – was enormous.

“We didn’t mind. It was worth it to know how much they were loved and appreciated.”

People from all walks of life enjoyed seeing the figures and many children were photographed alongside them.

Jeff wants to ask those responsible for destroying the sculptures a simple question.

He asked: “Have you got the decency within yourself to be deeply ashamed?”

A tulip-based figure was the first wool sculpture to appear in May, but the identity of the yarn bombers or urban knitters was a closely guarded secret until figures of the Queen and ‘the Cat of Many Colours’ had been created.

In mid-July the nannas owned up and revealed they were on a mission to give Spalding people something to smile about.

Carol told us the Queen sculpture completely disappeared but they retrieved remnants of the cat.

She wants their work to continue and says: “If we don’t do any more then they (the vandals) have won.”

Previously ...

Knitting nannas reveal themselves as Spalding’s mystery yarn bombers