Gary’s wonderful toucan lantern certainly gets around and needless to say, into a bit of bother along the way. You may have spotted him (or sometimes her) back in 2017 at Sharrow Lantern Carnival. If not, perhaps s/he spotted you at Peace in the Park festival. I followed their activity from far off Athens for months, reading news of it being found in skips and of a kind park keeper rescuing and rehoming it. On arriving back in Sheffield I received an unusual request: To repair the toucan; who having resided at the Hillsborough Walled Garden of late, had incurred a rather serious bashing off the local youth. Of course I was only too happy to assist. To be honest, I felt like a lantern-paramedic. I liked the challenge and arranged him to be brought to my surgery – sorry, home. But first, let’s take a look at Gary’s toucan being made and in its’ finest hour at Sharrow Lantern Carnival.
Two months later, we find toucan appear at Peace in the Park festival, at the Healing Area; where else?!
Whilst working on another bird-lantern, a heron at the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery’s Annual event, I met Christine from the Friends of Hillsborough Walled Garden (it’s all about friends and Friends groups!)
Christine told me of how Ollie the park keeper had rescued the toucan from Weston Park (How did it end up there, I wonder?) This photo he took shows her best side as she was quite ripped by her left eye.
The toucan had been enjoying much attention from visitors to the garden, but also found itself involved in a couple of scuffles. Christine and friends had managed to patch it up well the first time, but the most recent incident left it in a bit of a mess as I was to discover when it arrived on my doorstep.
With a little help from my friend, Andrianna, we managed to reconstruct the toucan.
Though no longer officially a lantern, as we performed paper mache surgery! – and sadly without its original opening beak, but none the less restored and returned to pride of place back in the walled garden much to the delight of their visitors.
From the Friends of Hillsborough Park’s Facebook page:
“Phoenix from the Ashes. – Well a toucan really! Lots of visitors have commented on missing our toucan who usually guards the veg patch. Sadly a few weeks ago some uninvited evening visitors got into the locked garden and beat toucan until she was in 3 pieces. A local willow artist named Patrick has now repaired her and she is looking splendid again. She is back on guard in the Walled Garden and we hope she will now live happily there for many years to come. She brings a smile to so many!“
Friends of Hillsborough Walled Garden
“Such a shame that people feel the need to ruin things for others. My daughter will be delighted to see the toucan back in her rightful place,”
Daniel John Tesdale