Arsonists set fire to statue of cricketing legend after it was decorated by yarnbombers in Kirkby

Amanda Beardsley and Sarah Been from the voluntary arts dressing up Batsman Donald Bradman..
Amanda Beardsley and Sarah Been from the voluntary arts dressing up Batsman Donald Bradman..

Yarnbombers who turned Kirkby into a sea of colour this week were determined not to be beaten after arsonists set fire to one of their creations.

Police are hunting yobs who torched a ‘yarn bombed’ statue of batsman Donald Bradman near Morrisons in Kirkby town centre in the early hours of Friday.

The vandals ruined months of hard work put into creating the decorations on the iconic cricketing statues as part of an Arts Week installation.

Organiser Claire Lilley curated the town’s first ever ‘craft bomb’ event on May 5,6 and 7, with Ashfield District Council and the Voluntary Arts, to turn the town centre in to a kaleidoscope of colour.

Claire said: “It looked fabulous - there was so much interest in it.

“But we went down on Friday morning and everything on the batsman had been burned away.

“They set fire to the batsman took items off the others and tried to set fire to a tree.

“One small minded person decided to spoil things for everyone else.

“Those squares were going to be used for blankets for the homeless.

“There were three or four blankets worth and months of work which went up in smoke.”

Claire put out an SOS on social media and soon knitters weavers and sewers got to work to fix the mess.

The other two cricketing legends fielder Bill Voce and bowler Harold Larwood were also festooned in colour.

She added: “The sculptor who made the statues, David Annand has messaged me he said: “My sculptures look so much better like this.”

Over the weekend dozens of crafters decorated the statues and railings outside of the library, the trees adjacent to Boyes, lamp posts, benches and also the market stalls.

Claire said the event had been so successful she had been asked to plan another at Christmas.