Knitted and crocheted Harry Potter characters add magic touch to Shropshire town

Knitted and crocheted Harry Potter characters add magic touch to Shropshire town
A town in Shropshire has received a magical transformation (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

A town in Shropshire has been given a magical transformation after knitted and crocheted characters from the Harry Potter series were used to decorate trees, benches and postboxes.

The Ellesmere Yarn Bombers have been decorating Ellesmere with their crafted creations since 2018, with Harry Potter chosen as the theme for this year’s summer yarnbomb, a concept which sees colourful knitted and crocheted yarn adorn streets.

Knitted characterDumbledore was made by the group (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

Alison Utting, who is one of the organisers of the group, told the PA news agency that the idea behind the theme came from a member who wanted holidaymakers coming to the town during the summer holidays, or those living there, to find “joy” from them.

“After the suggestion, ideas started flying,” Ms Utting, 56, said.

Owl looking at peopleAn owl looking over those living in Ellesmere (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

“We’ve got some really talented crafters in the group and many were getting really involved saying, ‘we can do Dobby, we can do Harry Potter’.

“Others where like ‘who is that?’ But everyone has really got on board.”

Little man made from yarn on a treeHagrid gracing a tree in Ellesmere (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

A 15-strong team – a mix of different genders and ages – made knitted and crocheted versions of Hagrid, Harry Potter and Dobby, a platform nine and three quarters sign for a bench and a mini-Slytherin outfit to grace a tree.

Black and white sign on a benchA platform nine and three-quarters creation made by the group (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

July 31 marks Harry Potter’s birthday and Ms Utting said that one of the reasons people still love the Harry Potter books is because author JK Rowling was a pioneer of “bringing people into the foreground who would usually be seen as background characters”.

“(Ron Weasley), the red-headed boy with the freckles who’s a bit clumsy and has hand-knitted jumpers, and (Hermione Granger), the nerdy girl in class, become heroes,” she said.

“She’s a very gifted writer and the books lend themselves to children’s imaginations.

“My daughter’s a Slytherin and she passionately supports Slytherin – she’s even got a Slytherin glasses case.”

Little clothing items on a treeSlytherin display made for a tree in Ellesmere (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

Ms Utting said some in the group made the more elaborate work, while others may have made a few squares for a blanket, but “everyone plays a role” and the projects serve to unite the team and keep them “laughing together”.

The inspiration for the work came from patterns online, as well as “from each other”, as the creatives often swap ideas and tips.

Ms Utting added that it was “nice” to see how the group has grown since its inception.

She said it drew inspiration from the death of one of her friends Hannah in 2017, who helped to set up the group.

Owl on postboxA Harry Potter inspired postbox topper (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

The work has garnered fans across the globe.

“We’ve had people commenting from Australia and in America because people have been sharing pictures of them online,” she said.

“Bringing joy has always been our absolute aim – if somebody walks past and they make people smile, then we’ve achieved what we’ve wanted to achieve.”

Decorated treeOne of the group’s creations (Ellesmere Yarn Bombers/PA)

“And when you put them up and drive through the town and you see people having their photos taken by them, it’s amazing, as we’re all fiercely proud of our town and hope the yarnbombing draws more people to Ellesmere.”

The crafted creations are to stay up until September and the group has set up a Crowdfunder to raise money for future yarnbombs, which can be accessed here:

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