Family: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters 'thrilled' as knitters raise more than £16,000 with royal yarnbomb

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The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters has raised more than £16,000 with its royal yarnbomb to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Hertford Castle’s Moat Garden was transformed ahead of the four-day bank holiday to mark Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.

More than 15,000 hours were spent creating a royal procession, which included Queen Elizabeth II in a gold state coach, pulled by two-life size Windsor grey horses. A balcony scene featured the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George.

The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters (SSOHC) selected Mudlarks, which supports adults with learning disabilities and mental health concerns, as their chosen charity to raise funds for.

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Mudlarks offers horticulture therapy, training and work experience to 161 people each week across the community, including community gardening and working in its café, where 27 staff learn all aspects of working in a commercial café and once trained are offered employment and the opportunity to study for catering qualifications.

The Mudlarks Café is situated on Fore Street and the Mudlarks Community has eight full-time and 34 part-time staff. Its team of more than 60 local volunteers were recently awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

Victoria Hobson, CEO of The Mudlarks Community, said: “We are absolutely astounded by the generosity of everyone who came to see the wonderful display created by the SSOHC for the Platinum Jubilee. We had hoped that over the year enough money would be raised by the fabulous yarn bombing of Hertford to buy us a new compost toilet at our allotment site. “It has been on our wish list for a long time

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“There is already more than enough money raised for a new toilet, with money left over for our next new project - polytunnels to grow salad crops and vegetables throughout the year. All of the money raised makes such a difference to the lives of people living with learning difficulties in East Herts. We are so grateful for the support and generosity of everyone involved.”

Some items that went on display were put up for auction to help raise further funds for Mudlarks, and some can still be spotted around the town. The White Horse in Castle Street has a display featuring one of the white horses and royal family inside the pub.

A royal horse at The White Horse in Castle Street © The White Horse / SSOHC A royal horse at The White Horse in Castle Street

A Red Arrow can be spotted in Willowmead and some figures have been donated to Mudlarks to use as ‘scarecrows’ at their allotment - although they might be too sweet than scary.

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Founding members of SSOHC Anne Haworth, Jo Baily and Susannah Carr said: “We were thrilled with Hertford’s response to our latest yarnbomb. The reception from the public has been wonderful and it’s been an absolute joy to view so many people interacting with the installation; from children running through the ribbons with bells to the wonderful photo opportunities.

“As a member of the public said ‘your best yarnbomb yet’. Who are we to argue? Massive thanks to all SSOHC members for everyone’s contribution, however great or small. It’s all very well coming up with these madcap plans, but without our wonderful members, nothing would be made.”

Visitors travelled from across the county, and potentially further afield to see the incredible installation. “Congratulations to all you Yarn Bombers, you never fail to disappoint, thank you for your efforts making Hertford shine and bringing smiles to peoples’ faces,” one visitor said. Another added: “It’s hard to imagine that these works of art are all produced from yarn, they are so clever.”

A third said: “I would like to say a huge thank you for giving people including my husband and I for the wonderful display in the moat gardens. I live in Hatfield and saw a photo in the national press with other pictures from all over England, we came over on the June 4 and it knocked our socks off.”

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