Appledore villagers set to unveil yarn bomb Christmas extravaganza

North Devon Gazette

A giant knitted and crocheted Christmas tree is to be unveiled in Appledore this weekend.Â

The Appledore Community Christmas Mega Yarn Bomb Extravaganza -  a tree complete with full yarn-bombed Christmas fireside scene - will be erected outside the village's St Mary’s church hall on Saturday.

It is expected to take all day to finally erect after months of hard work by well over 100 villagers.

Niki Tait, chair of Appledore Visitors' Association said: "The project stated as an idea originating from a giant 4.5 metre knitted Christmas tree produced in New Zealand, which was seen on Facebook by Appledore crocheter Jennie Lamb in May.

"She posted a photograph of this on the Appledore community Facebook site asking what
we thought.

"The idea that Appledore could make one of these was an immediate hit with the community.

"With a cancelled Christmas for most last year, and uncertainly about this year’s Christmas, it was a way of keeping all the village involved as a community through Covid and during the summer when the village was inundated with tourists.

"The project has grown, from not just producing a giant knitted/crocheted Christmas tree made
from well over 1,000 7.5-inch highly decorated squares, to a full Yarn Bombing Extravaganza with a 4.5 metre plus Christmas tree and full Christmas Eve fireside scene with fireplace, chair,
Christmas stockings and even the sleeping cat, pom-pom robins, mistletoe and fairy lights!

"Individual squares include the village lifeboat, seagulls, our Hockings ice cream, Appledore anchor, monkey’s fist, crabs, and much else of local significance.

"The team involved not only includes the knitters and the crocheters, but also those who sew all the squares together and then fix these on backing wires, the construction team making the metal frames for the three tiers, the decorators and many others.

"Well over 100 people from the community have been involved in one way or another."

Work started in June and from one small photo, the idea has escalated to a full village event from the original ideas and construction plans to the final full Christmas scene which will be erected in situ on Saturday, November 27, outside St Mary’s church hall.

Heading the yarn bomb is Jennie Lamb, originator of the project. Heading the construction team Jennie’s husband is Ian Lamb, a professional stage manager, and Terry Bailey, who has made and been responsible for the Appledore Angel, and who also made the Appledore Millennium Beacon.

The Baptists Church has made available its building for the Saturday working parties, though most of the work has been done in people’s homes.

St May’s Church Hall has provided the perfect central village location for its erection.

Time and nearly all materials have been donated by the villagers, with the final construction cost part funded by the Appledore Visitors' Association and via help from Northam
Town Council through the Welcome Back fund.