Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Big Spud has "lost Face"

Unfortunately, the locals of Robertson never fail to disappoint me, when it comes to lacking imagination.

Someone (persons unknown) has taken it upon themselves to remove the Mr Potato Head face, which was adorning the Big Spud yesterday.

One could say that the "Big Spud" has "lost face", and Robertson is all the poorer for it.Are we back to the Big Turd?

I am afraid that is what seems to fit the level of appreciation of some of the Robertson locals, who find it appropriate to "trash" the hard work of some of the other locals who wished to brighten up the village, just a little bit.

The face was a harmless joke and it did not "damage or deface" the property of the Mauger family, who own the land, and whose family members built the "Big Spud" in the first place. The face was topical and relevant, and inoffensive.

Lets hope that whoever removed the face puts it back again.

In just 24 hours it did much to brighten the image of Robertson.


nonymous for legal reasons said...

It took a few weekends of preperation and construction but with a lot of fun, laughter and one very long sleepless night we were proud of the creation of the potatoes new persona. On the day of his visit to the main street we had chats with locals and tourists alike and all of them had glowing reviews of our smiling friend and even generated interest and queries about our town from passing tourists to the area. One such visitor asked me what he meant to the town and was suprised to hear that he didn't always look so happy. After asking what the original potato meant to the locals he was very interested in our town and even decided to stay for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy the potato race at the local show.

Sadly, as Dennis has reported, our newest local celebrity was destroyed on his first night. Some people feel the need to ruin good fun. The damaged face was left behind the potato and was salvaged today and stored in a safe place. It is not yet known to us who decided to remove his happy expression and quite a few locals both young and old are dissapointed he was not made welcome for longer. As Dennis also made mention, the adornment was designed to be temporary and no damage was done to the local landmark in either it being erected, or it being torn down.

I have been told that there was quite a bit of talk around town about our new friends visit and since then local business owners have been hearing a lot of questions about him from their patrons. There has even been chatter about arranging postcards from images taken by those who saw him as they passed and pulled over to take a closer look. There was a request to have him invited back again for the local markets next week, but sadly due to the current damage and busy weekday lifestyles of the groups members he would be unable to 'show his face'. Plus this time, we would also need to seek permision from the legal owners of the potato (I think locals like to think that we all own a peice of it). Sightings of Roden Mauger, a member of the family who own the land, discussing the guerilla street art as he was voulenteering at the local show yesterday have indicated his reactions as good humoured to the harmless prank.

Although it was sad to see the way that it all ended we loved to see the smiles that he has shared with the people that saw him and feel sympathetic towards those who we have heard wished they had a chance to meet him face to face. Looking back on his breif stay we are happy that he has helped to spread joy in the community and left his mark in local memory and history.

Perhaps one day he will visit the main street again. Only time will tell.

Sincerly yours,
Ralph Belmore

P.S. Our new friend is still as yet unnamed. Some of us have thought that maybe the locals should help to pick one. Perhaps our local primary school would like to get involved?

Wilma said...

Too bad it was taken down. I thought it lent nice air of whimsy to the spud.

Flabmeister said...


It is possible to find a bright side in this. Perhaps it is actually a piece of guerilla art in which the unexplained appearance and subsequent, and equally mysterious, disappearance of the face are intended to raise questions in the mind of the observer?

Without knowing the dimensions of The Spud erecting the face must have taken a bit of organisation. Also it appears that neither the installation nor removal of the face have damaged The Spud or the surrounding area. I'm sure that itinerant vandals would have also trashed the sign and perpetrated incompetent graffiti on the pristine brown canvas. Finally they wouldn't have left the area nice and tidy - theer would have been bits of face all over the place. (Of course the people of Robertson may have fixed that up before you took the photo.)


Denis Wilson said...

Glad to have "Ralph Belmore" (the family name comes from a local waterfall) on board, to explain the history of this event.
I have been a great backer of this idea.
And a critic of the destruction of the sign.
I know (from talking to "Ralph") how much work went into it.
I also know from talking to Roden Mauger that he was not against it.
I think the Chamber of Commerce would be happy to see a re-appearance by "The Face". Certainly, they have been circulating the photographs which I took - with face and without it.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Wilma
Nice to have you drop by.
So even an International audience sees it as "whimsy". (Nice word, by the way, Wilma - one we don't meet often enough.)
Certainly it was harmless and did not permanently deface a local landmark.
Bring back "The Face" I say.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
The face was made of chicken wire structure, with papier mache, coated with weather-resistent paint.
Nothing heavy, But good enough to last a while, or to make occasional "visits" to the Big Spud.
Incidentally, Martin, the "Big Spud" is huge.
roughly the size of a semi-trailer