Roundabout looks blooming lovely, says town councillor

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

WALLINGFORD town councillor Ros Lester has said Wallingford’s model castle in a roundabout is looking blooming wonderful despite some naysayers.

Some said they thought the 6ft replica tower of the town’s St Mary’s Church at St Leonard's Square was first put up as a joke by the council last month.

But as flowers like marigolds and sweet peas sprout around it, Mrs Lester said it is becoming a welcome addition to the town.

She said: “It is absolutely beautiful at the moment.

“It looks absolutely brilliant and I haven’t heard anybody say they find it unattractive.”

The 6ft-high metal castle was placed on the St Leonard’s Square roundabout by town council parks staff as a flower planter in June.

But the roundabout is in the Wallingford conservation area and came under some criticism.

When it was first put up, detractors such as Oxfordshire County Councillor for Wallingford Lynda Atkins said it was a potential distraction for drivers and should be removed.

Les Adlam, 61, of Look-in Gents’ Hairdressing in St Leonard’s Square, said the castle looked like a portable loo with crenellations.

Wallingford resident Rosie Gration, who lives in St John’s Road, said: “I would like to congratulate the lads who have done the roundabout flowers, they have made it look beautiful.

“It is the prettiest roundabout in the country.”

She added: “I love the castle, but only because I think it is hilarious.

“It is completely bonkers, I would love to know whose idea it was, and the fact it has got so many people rattled is really amusing.

“Part of the amusement is the fact that it looks like a prop from a pantomime.”

Wallingford Town Councillor Mike Kidley said he had always liked the model castle.

He said: “I always liked it, I think it is absolutely wonderful.

“If that is distracting drivers then they shouldn’t be on the road.”

Wallingford Castle Gardens are now on the site of Wallingford Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror in 1071 and demolished by Oliver Cromwell in 1652.

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