Hitchin yarn bomb art ruined by yobs

The Mad Hatters Tea Party-inspired yarn bomb.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party-inspired yarn bomb. - Credit: Archant

A woman who spent months creating a work of art as part of Hitchin Festival is disappointed it has been targeted by vandals – two years after the same thing happened before.

The artwork, which was thrown into the River Hiz in Hitchin by vandals.

The artwork, which was thrown into the River Hiz in Hitchin by vandals. - Credit: Archant

As part of Hitchin Festival, Clare Arends got involved in a yarn bomb – a form of street art using colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn which are attached to public objects.

Clare and other members of knitting group Hitchin Stitchin’ sought permission from the rector at St Mary’s Church in Churchyard to showcase their craft in the trees in the grounds there.

Clare secured her work – based on the theme of the ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’ – to a tree on Friday, but it disappeared overnight.

She awoke on Saturday morning only to be alerted by friends that her knitted ‘teapot’, that had a football inside to round it out, ‘plates’ made out of polystyrene and bubble wrap, were found floating in the River Hiz in front of St Mary’s Church.

Clare went down to Churchyard and fished them out.

“It’s hard to get into the heads of the people who did this,” Clare told the Comet.

Most Read

“Myself and other members of Hitchin Stitchin’ are very disappointed. We all put a lot of hours into this project and to have our work damaged again for the second time in two years is a little discouraging.

“However, I’m determined not to let them beat us. I plan to repair the work to ensure it goes on display again.”

Ironically Clare’s work that was damaged two years ago was based on the theme of preventing littering – with the hand-crafted artwork being found in the river by a waste management service. She said at the time that she just wanted to bring a message for people to tidy up.

Clare, who has been a member of Hitchin Stitchin’ for about eight years, thinks the vandalism is down to “peer group pressure”.

“I think the people who carried out this mindless attack on artwork are simply trying to outdo each other in destruction,” she said.

“It’s peer group pressure.

“Sadly, I am not surprised at the vandalism. It’s in an area where young drunks meet in the evenings. Need I say more?

“It was attached to a tree that they probably ‘pee’ on every Friday night.”

However, Clare and the team have received a lot of support on social media since the incident.

Richard Pope from Hitchin tweeted to her: “Such idiocy – please don’t let it put you off. We loved strolling around all the clever artwork.

“Unfortunately pillocks abound...”

Clare is hoping for her work to be back on public display by the weekend as part of the Hitchin Festival.

For more information visit the festival website on www.hitchinherts.com.