How we all loved Bramhall’s adorable Carrwood Fairy Trail. Jo Hoddes, of Cheadle Hulme Boutique, Fuzzy Goose, created the trail. The wonderful Friends of Carrwood and the local community really stepped up too. So magical and so enchanting – the Fairy Trail captured the imagination of children and adults alike.
A little bit of wonder, happiness and hope in an otherwise pretty rubbish year, the trail attracted people and praise from far and wide. You can read all about how I Love Bramhall LOVES going down to Carrwood and the Fairy Trail here:
So many people put so much into the Carrwood Fairy Trail. Local Great-grandad, Bob, spent hours screwing down doors, mending damaged ones, and making animal houses. Local artist Colin Warden decorated the houses. A local lady hand-made the clothes for the animals, while Jo and her neighbour Jane O’Connor were the original Fairies! They provided most of the doors to set the ball rolling.
Jo named one Hickory House, in honour of her late dad, the brilliant Barry Hill. Barry wrote that childhood favourite, amongst many other well-known tv shows. Local artisan, Nick Cunningham, of Morten and Me made many of the signs and the doors for absolutely nothing. Lisa Williams, of Cheadle Hulme lingerie emporium Vanilla Fudge, installed several doors.
Jo and several volunteers also adapted the Carrwood Fairy Trail for Christmas. Even Santa and Mrs Christmas took time out of their incredibly busy December. In doing so, these lovely people raised OVER £1,000 towards treatment to save little Amelia’s sight. Bramall Park Golf Club Ladies, Helping Hands Bramhall, Caro Boutique, Lily Rose Events, and Ollie’s Army all contributed Christmas trees. Lovely lady Jenny provided one in tribute to her friend Rachel, who suddenly passed away last year.
Amelia has Batten’s disease, as does her brother Ollie – the inspirational young man of Ollie’s Army. Batten’s is incurable and terminal. Battens robs these children, bit by bit, of what life they have. They may not even see their teens. Nobody could possibly begrudge trying to help them, while cheering up hundreds of other people, could they? Nobody could see any harm in the trail and its Christmas fundraising, surely? And certainly not someone with plenty of blessings to count?
Well, any reasonable person would think not anyway…
Sadly, if you’d gone down to Carrwood today, you may have been in for rather more than a surprise. And not in a good way. Around Christmas, visitors parked cars perfectly legally and considerately on Forbes Park. Forbes park is the quiet, public cul-de-sac at the village end of the fairy trail. Shockingly, several cars were vandalised, and even criminally damaged. One visitor was harangued by a resident. One car’s tyres were all slashed – someone’s carrying a substantial knife round there. There is a crime reference for anyone else affected.
Somebody even took exception to some of the Bramhall Fairy Trail Christmas additions. Maybe some weren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s irrelevant. They were all unarguably Christmassy, placed by the community, often by children and sometimes even in memory of someone special. Jo visited to maintain and tidy the displays twice a day, every single day.
Your cup of tea or not, nobody had any right or reason to interfere with them in any way – let alone remove, deface and even destroy them. Perhaps the same people who decided to abuse Santa and Mrs Christmas on the fundraising day. Can you believe that someone could stoop so low? Every fairy tale has its baddies. Whether it’s the wicked witch or the ugly sisters, they’re never happy and they never, ever win.
Now, in a pathetic yet vindictive twist, somebody has destroyed every single element of Bramhall’s Carrwood Fairy Trail. Every pretty little door, every optimistic plaque, every small-but-perfectly-formed house – even the big, robust, Hedgehog House.
Hedgehog House was lovingly and painstakingly constructed by local octogenarian Bob. Bob is a dedicated stalwart of the Friends of Carrwood. Bob and his wife Elaine have headed the Friends of Carrwood for many, many years. They’ve always devoted considerable time and energy to Carrwood and have lovingly cared for the Fairy Trail, keeping the area spotlessly tidy. This must have taken real effort to trash, because Bob isn’t called ‘Bob the Builder’ for nothing. His years in the trade mean that Hedgehog House was skilfully constructed, of solid wood, fixed and screwed securely. That sort of craftsmanship and material doesn’t give in easily.
Someone was absolutely determined to peevishly, and even violently, wreck someone’s hard work. To spoil someone’s happiness. Those plaques and fairy doors have all been donated or placed by local children and families. Many were dedicated to a lost Grandparent, parent or child. They were wholesome and lovely and utterly harmless. They meant something, not just to those who placed them but to anyone who took time to wander through a whimsical little escape from tiers and lockdowns.
That was bad enough. That was nasty enough. However, events took a potentially sinister turn on Thursday morning, 7 January. The Forbes Park entrance to Carrwood was littered with bits of raw meat. It’s hard to imagine anyone was feeding wildlife at that time. Thankfully, the early dog walkers were able to keep their dogs away and Jo has now collected the lot and is taking it for analysis.
It’s easy to blame bored and disgruntled teenagers for this spiteful spree. But the plaques, doors and houses were securely fixed to trees and couldn’t just be pulled or prised off. Pathetic behaviour, yes – but pathetic behaviour with intent, determination and more worryingly at least one screwdriver and that knife used on the car tyres.
Even Scrooge learned his lesson. Even the Grinch saw the error of his ways. Hopefully, the person responsible for this will, too.
Even at this time of crisis, with so many jobs under threat, so many businesses forced to close again, donations are already pouring in to replace the stolen and ruined doors, plaques and houses. THAT is community. THAT is what makes our villages special. Lovely local Mum and business owner Fiona Hull of ConstructionQ has donated a substantial amount. Jo, the Friends of Carrwood, I Love Bramhall and I Love Cheadle Hulme WILL ensure a happy ever after for the fairies of Carrwood Fairy Trail and the countless folk who love them.
For donations and more information contact Jo Hoddes
Any money leftover will be used for Friends of Carrwood for gardening equipment.