The roundabout coming into Bude has never looked very inspiring and when the council removed all the planting in 2016, close friend Jane and I saw our opportunity. We had always joked about wanting to guerilla garden it and give it a make over. Building had started on the massive Bovis Shorelands estate and with that came the other evil of an out of town shopping centre.
It seemed even more important now to claim this roundabout and make it unique and reflect Bude and the town. We shunned sponsorship which would come with corporate signage and working with the local highways, Cormac Cornwall, the Bude Stratton Town Council and a small band of volunteers, we came up with a plan and designs.
Originally we were going to have them made from wood, but after a chance conversation at a wedding with Clive Woodward who owns a large company in Bude, we had an even better long lasting larger offer of steel fabricated sculptures which would rust over time and set in beautifully.
Over the period of a further 6 months, the designs were finalised based on Jane and I’s original drawings.
We wanted surfboard shapes to reflect the culture of Bude and the sea and each one had a cut out. A wave with a fish on the top, a sunshine as Bude regularly tops the charts for most sunshine and the iconic barrel rock.
They weighed in at a whopping 180kg each. Some local guys from the gym offered to help and unofficially some of the local highways guys came after work to lend a hand. Health and safety was a priority but we didn’t have time to go down all the regulatory routes, so it was hi vis jackets, torches and lots of care to halt traffic on the roundabout. We prepped it, laid down matting, made support holes and spread several tonnes of stone and chippings over it.
It’s only when you are up on top of it, you get a sense of how big it is.
The transformation seemed to happen overnight and the next morning, there were calls from Radio Cornwall, the newspapers and lots of tooting and whooping from passers by.
We did it!!
We never did get a chance to publicly thank everyone involved. Life took over with family commitments and work.
So a big thank you to anyone who may be reading this.
Our volunteer group, Annie, Kim, Sarah, Tim, Karen, Deb, Liz, Sharon, Stu, Roger and Geraldine. Brommells for advice and expert driving skills to deliver dumpy bags of materials. Cormac and local highways for always coming up trumps . Councillors Pete Labroy, Nigel Pearce, David Parsons, Bob willingham etc. and of course to Clive and David Woodward and their team from Bott Ltd for organising, making and getting the project to fruition. And to the public who supported our crowdfunding actions and also tooted as they passed or dropped off plants, drinks and cash.
In March 2018 we added some planting.
As a footnote, in November 2018 Jane and I were nominated Bude Hero’s and received an award for the work we had done to improve the nature of the entrance to Bude, claim it as our own and the whole project cost less than £1500.