SKB’s Soldier puts Syston on the Map

Last year SKB created a stunning soldier’s head topper, our picture above, on the post box which, when I went to photograph it, looked like a person standing the other side of the post box. It reached over 1.7 million views on our Facebook page. As most of you will know SKB doesn’t use patterns when each topper is created, but with many people asking for a pattern, this year SKB has collaborated with two people who write patterns for knitting and crochet, hence versions of the topper have been appearing around the country in the lead up to Remembrance Day. As a result our Facebook post has risen to over 1.8million views and is still going!

When I got the message to say a new piece was at the memorial, early on the 7th November, I wondered how SKB could surpass the one from last year.

Well I wasn’t disappointed, there standing at the memorial, with the head slightly tilted downwards was a life sized Soldier in First World War attire, the detail was breathtaking!  What followed was a whirlwind of a week with the national media going crazy after I sent a video to ITV and pictures to East Midlands Today (EMT) as well as an interview on Radio Leicester. The soldier starting appearing in the national papers and on both BBC and ITV on various days across the week, it was even discussed on Woman’s hour, BBC radio 4 and channel 5. What an achievement for a fully knitted piece of art, by an amazing artist in this medium. EMT sent a film crew on Tuesday and interviewed residents who had gone down to see the soldier.

Then on Armistices Day, 11th November, it was a surprise for those who normally attend the memorial every year, to find an ITV camerawoman filming, plus the Leicester Mercury sent a reporter who filmed the event lead by Rick Astil of G. E. Gamble, as he always visits the memorial each year with Steve who plays the last post. It was different this year with all the media attention and many more people including the council chairman and town manager turned up, they were interviewed by both ITV and Leicester Mercury. Everyone has been surprised by the appearance of the Soldier. So Syston Knitting Banxy (SKB) you have single-handedly put Syston on the map!

The comments on our Facebook page are again from all over the world. Not only did SKB create the soldier, which I am told took about five weeks to create and a lot of wool, they also produced a Horse’s head topper for the post box to show support for the purple poppy appeal which remembers all animals lost during conflict. This too appeared in the national press.

All this plus a wonderful year of toppers appear in a calendar created by myself, so only print costs will be taken out of the revenue meaning that two Syston Charities will receive all profits. The publicity of the soldier and other toppers has enabled us to sell, at time of going to print, over 400 calendars calendars and another 100 have been printed so if you haven’t got your copy yet, please call into the post office or contact us here at Stn.

We will publish the total given to the two Charities in the February issue. Thank you to everyone who has bought one, our two charities will gain a lovely Christmas donation.

Syston is very proud to have such a talented artist in its town and all SKB wants in return is to make people smile – well you certainly do that every time you put up another one of your creations!

I’m often asked on Radio Leicester and other media stations if they can get an interview with SKB and I have repeatedly had to say that they don’t want to do interviews, they prefer to keep their identity a secret and that is why they asked me to be their voice, which is an honour and quite humbling.

They are aware of all the fabulous comments made on our Facebook page as they have their own Facebook page, Syston K Banxy, the only social media they do. So please visit and leave a comment.
Finally, SKBs Pudsey Bear made an appearance on BBC TV on Friday 19th November for Children in Need!

So if you didn’t see him, here he is.
Thank You SKB for bringing a smile and spreading happiness.
Can’t wait to see what the Christmas one will be!