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What were The Twelve Curlicues of Pilton?


Thirty two years ago an exciting project came to Pilton. Funded by Beaford Arts to celebrate its 21st birthday, and with enormous support from many local companies, the Horse and Bamboo Theatre from Rossendale in Lancashire organised what turned out to be a spectacular four days of events, celebration and fun. They took place over the Easter Holidays of 1987 on the streets of Pilton and in Pilton Park and brought together local schools, clubs and organisations as well as many individuals.
The whole event was recorded in a 50 page Curlicue Scrapbook which is filled with sketches, notes, records, explanations and photographs and a list of all the people in all the groups and what they did. A CURLICUE or CURLEY Q originally meant a type of hairstyle worn by sailors with a short curl at the back, but later came to mean a decorative twist or small quirk. When the Horse and Bamboo Theatre first visited Pilton Village their immediate impression was of a maze-like labyrinth of paths and streets, dotted with strange and interesting buildings and places which they called CURLICUES.
The TWELVE CURLICUES OF PILTON were identified as the Almshouses, the Golden Weathercock on the Church Tower, the River Yeo at Pilton Park, Bull House, Pilton’s Dungheap, the Ladywell, the Longstone, St Margaret’s Leper Hospital, the Recluse living in the Churchyard, the Animal (a Unicorn?) on the Church Hall roof, the Green Man carving in the Church and The Prior’s Ring found behind the Churchyard in 1867. This fascinating drawing sets out these twelve curlicues. They can also be seen in the 11 page programme of the four day event also on the archive.

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