‘Bobbly Stoke’ yarn bombing stunt a big hit with residents

'Bobbly Stoke' yarn bombing: Bobble hats on the road sign posts on Patchway Brook Roadabout, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

The appearance of scores of colourful knitted bobble hats on bollards and sign posts in north Bradley Stoke at the end of October proved a big hit with local residents, many of whom took to social media to praise the efforts of a mystery group of ‘yarn bombers’ said to be behind the initiative.

The bobble hat ‘attack’ was centred on Pear Tree Road, but hats also appeared on bollards and other street furniture at the top ends of Brook Way and Bradley Stoke Way. Posts supporting road signs on Patchway Brook Roundabout (near Aldi) were also given the ‘Bobbly Stoke’ treatment.

A number of Journal readers reported seeing a group of four ladies putting out the hats at around 8pm on Monday 27th October. The results of their work were seen by hundreds of commuters the following morning and many were moved to record their thanks on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page, where local resident Sara Messenger posted the first photograph, adding: “I love the 45 plus bobble hats that have appeared on Pear Tree Road. I’m told four ladies were out last night putting them in place, … I don’t know who you are ladies but thank you for giving us all something to smile about.”

It is believed that a total of around 57 bobble hats were put out on 27th October, but a fair number were stolen or damaged over the following days. However, all of the hats on the relatively inaccessible Patchway Brook Roundabout were still there as we went to press.

A source believed to be involved with the initiative told The Journal’s editor that the ‘yarn bombing’ had been the idea of a group of children in the Cooks Close area and had been carried out with the help of parents and other adults in the neighbourhood.

Four days after the hats had appeared, someone going by the name of Julia Fillis posted on the Journal’s Facebook page: “Time to fess-up. Caroline Sullivan, Lily Sullivan (age 12), Addie Sullivan (age 9) all aided and abetted in this prank. Addie said we should brighten the place up and Ken had an old knitting machine in the loft. Thank you so much for your lovely comments and we hope you’ll all join in with the next event: ‘Adopt a lamp post for Christmas and decorate it’. We are so pleased that we made you all smile, your comments have made us smile too. x x”

Reader comments on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page

Jen N: “Definitely brightened our journey earlier this morning!”

Suzanne H: “My teenage sons thought this was a brilliant idea and both grabbed a camera then ran around Bradley Stoke hunting down all the hats to take photos. Thank you to whomever brightened up today with such a simple but clever idea.”

Vickie J-S: “I thought it was lovely and made me feel happy about the area that we live in … My kids were loving spotting all the hats – thank you lovely ladies, whoever you are.”

See scores more comments on Facebook: Post #1; Post #2

Photo: Bobble hats on the road sign posts on Patchway Brook Roundabout.

Bradley Stoke yarn bombing: Collage of photos by Sara Messenger.

Photo: Collage of bobble hats on bollards in Pear Tree Road. [All photos by Sara Messenger.]

More photos in The Journal’s PicasaWeb gallery.

This article originally appeared in the December 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. What a wonderful idea to lift up the spirits of people by such wonderful colored knitted hats. I hope the knitted hats will be sold after Christmas and the revenues can be put into a good cause. I hope this tradition will continue every year and every adopted lamp post will help bring a smile to the face of an orphan or a child in need.

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