So Tony rang me early one morning. “He’s gone”, he said, “Harry’s gone”. I could hear the upset in his voice. “But, wasn’t he tied up”, I asked. “Yes, he was”, he said, “feckin’ gurriers, they must’ve pulled him down during the night.” “But it’s ok”, I said, “I can paint you another one…”
Ok, I’d better start again – The Harold’s Cross Community Festival is going from strength to strength. It is organised by the Harold’s Cross Community Council who were founded in 2007 to promote our urban village and to encourage cultural activity and positive citizenship. It has created a great buzz in the area. The festival happens in May each year with music in the park, a children’s carnival, historical re-enactments, Russian folk dances, poetry readings, art, history, lectures, walking tours and allsorts of everything… And it’s all local people – you wouldn’t believe that there was so much talent in such a small area. And so many volunteers willing to lend a hand – but I’d say one thing – it might never have happened if it wasn’t for the vision and sheer determination of Tony and Eileen McDermott.
But anyway, in the first year of the festival, I made this banner for the park (see above) with a Scarecrow on it. It was something to do with the vision for 2025 – a greener, smarter, healthier village (check out the website at: http://www.haroldscross.org/) and we called him Harry of Harold’s Cross and he became a sort of mascot, I suppose. But then, one Sunday night we left him out in the rain and the following morning, he was gone. Vanished without a trace. Was it gurriers, or did he just feel unwanted or abandoned? Nobody knew…But then in November 2013, Harold’s Cross won first place in all of Ireland at the Pride of Place Awards – a well-deserved result for all the hard work of the Community Council – and they went up to Derry/Londonderry to receive the prestigious award. So now we have a new banner. Harry is back from the North and he’s wearing a new sash (see below).
And yes, I did curate an exhibition of contemporary art during the festival but you know, I’ve a feeling that old Harry got more attention. Well, we don’t want him to disappear again, do we?