Dorking cockerel gets a gold medal for Olympic weekend
DORKING'S famous cockerel statue celebrated the start of the town's Olympic celebrations this week by sporting a giant gold medal around its neck.
The metal figure, which stands on the A24/Deepdene Avenue roundabout, was given its second makeover of the summer on Sunday night by a group of "guerrilla knitters".
The Knit 'n' Knatter group, which meets regularly at the Fluff-a-Torium shop in West Street, previously claimed responsibility for the colourful scarves placed on the statue for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
This time the cockerel was decked out in Olympic-themed garments to celebrate the men's and women's cycle races, which will pass through the town this weekend.
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Shop owner Gillian Harris said: "The Knit 'n' Knatter group decided that they wanted to do something Olympic-themed and the council had insinuated that it could be an acceptable proposition.
"I had the idea of the gold medal and then Clare Davies and the group set about making it from small woollen yellow squares of wool. I was then put onto hardboard and wrapped in cling film to protect it from the rain."
Last month the group was ordered to remove the Jubilee-themed decorations from the cockerel – but Mrs Harris is hopeful Mole Valley District Council will allow the cockerel to keep its medal until after the races.
"I think the people of Dorking were urging us to do something along these lines," she said. "We had a cyclist in the shop the other day saying 'I hope you're going to do something for the Olympics'.
"I think people really enjoyed the Jubilee stuff that we did and they were really up for it again. Everyone has been really positive about it.
"I think it gives everybody a sense of community and pulling together, everybody is getting really excited."
Commenting on the Advertiser's Facebook group, John Philpott said: "Congratulations to the person who put a big gold medal on the Dorking Cockerel at Deepdene Roundabout. Good for the cynics!"
Fiona Rabbetts added: "What could be more Olympic than a medal for our cockerel - I'll tell Mayor Boris if the council complain!"
And Theresa Crayston said: "Three cheers for the Dorking Cockerel!"
- For more about this weekend's Olympic cycle races, pick up a copy of Thursday's Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser.