This week I've spent three days in and around Northampton and Oxford. Nipping into Northampton's Grosvenor shopping centre, I spotted an unusual sight - a pride of multi-coloured lion cubs decorated by children from local primary schools as well as some full sized lions sponsoered by businesses and/or decorated by community groups or professional artists. They were/are wonderful and some great humour. There was an Elvis lion - 'Are You Lionsome Tonight?' - there were 'Three Lions' with team England football tops... oh well, never mind, I'm sure the sponsor is pleased with this team who really are winners. I loved the 'people's lion' covered in a patchwork of knitted and crocheted shapes by a community craft group. The school's lions had diverse names - there were Roary and Rory and Lionel and then Llewys, not a Welsh lion but a local village name (Sywell) reversed and one apparently named after a Hebrew lion goddess (I didn't know there was one but hey...). From montages of local photos to handprints to school mottos to the names of children the variety was lovely.
Made me proud of the old place! And hopefully will be a source of pleasure for the 200k or so people who live there. More info here if you are interested (for photos follow the 'media' signpost)