These floral pigs stand amid the flowers on a roundabout outside the entrance to Tamworth Railway Station, and they are the nicest things about the station, which is truly horrible – it's a concrete monstrosity, and the second-tier of the car park is even worse, because it looks as if it's been made from a giant construction kit. And, I might add, I took my life in my hands to take these photos, because I had to stand in the road, with cars and taxis hooting at me. Fortunately they can't travel very fast on the station forecourt, but I had to move pretty quickly to get out of their way!
|Tamworth's floral pigs - some prankster has given the one on the|
left a pair of glasses.
Anyway, these beautiful living sculptures were created a couple of years ago to commemorate two Tamworth Pigs (A Tamworth Pig is a rare breed animal) who escaped on the way to the slaughter-house. The duo, who were only five months old, ran off as they were being moved from a lorry to an abbattoir: they swam across a river, and hid in gardens and a wooded area, in Malmsbury, in Wiltshire (which is actually quite a long way from Tamworth).
|A side view of the pigs, showing the way they are made from|
small succulent plants.
It was a week before they were captured, but during that time the pigs hit the national headlines and were acclaimed as heroes. They were nicknamed Butch and Sundance, after the American outlaws, and there was a campaign to save them from being killed. Eventually the Daily Mail bought the pigs (who were brother and sister) from the owner, and they were homed at the Rare Breeds Centre near Ashford, in Kent, which is also a long way from Tamworth. So where, I hear you ask, is the connection to the town in which I live? Read on, and all will be revealed...
It was back in 1998 that the Tamworth Two were saved, and in the years that followed Butch (a sow), and Sundance (a boar) became huge attractions at the animal sanctuary, where Butch died in 2010, and her brother the following year. By then they had become something of a legend – and what better place could you find for a memorial than the town where the breed of Tamworth Pigs was first developed?
|Here's a Tamworth Pig I photographed a couple|
of years ago at a children's farm near Tamworth.
|And here's a little Tamworth Piglet snapped at the same place.|
|This is the statue of Sir Robert Peel|
which stands in front of Tamworth
Town Hall - and no, awful though the
weather has been, it hasn't snowed -
this was taken in winter!
I'd love to know how these floral sculptures are made. There are several in Tamworth (not all of pigs!), and they are very eye-catching. I think some kind of wire framework is filled with earth and planted up, but what stops it all falling out, or being washed away in the rain? By the way, please note that I've deliberately I've avoided all piggy puns, because they've been done to death in the past.
For more Saturday Snapshots see Alice's blog at http://athomewithbooks.net/