Black cat history

LEWIS Peckham asks who took the black cat from the Black Cat Roundabout on the A1 (Letters, August 8). The original history of how the first roundabout on the A1 north of Sandy became to be called the Black Cat roundabout is given on the website www.black

LEWIS Peckham asks who took the black cat from the Black Cat Roundabout on the A1 (Letters, August 8).

The original history of how the first roundabout on the A1 north of Sandy became to be called the Black Cat roundabout is given on the website www.blackcat-on-a1.co.uk with pictures, and on the Highways Agency site www.highway.gov.uk/roads/projects/9252.aspx. Most of the information comes from the private venture book Recollections (of Roxton and the surrounds) by Will Stapleton. More details are available in the book.

More recently, to mark the Black Cat roundabout, a cat profile made of steel was constructed to match the original cat profile by a team of scientists and engineers at no cost to the public purse. This cat was erected on the old Black Cat roundabout in January 2004 and remained there until removed by the Bedford bypass contractor to make way for the new roundabout.

The contractor agreed to replace the cat on the new roundabout, but the larger roundabout called for a larger cat. This larger cat was manufactured and delivered to Nuttalls (the contractor) who erected it on the new roundabout in the summer of 2006. This eight-feet high steel cat has been stolen. The old cat is in my garden.

Both the old and new cats were subject to several graffiti attacks while on the roundabout, with white and yellow paint, but the maintenance team was watchful and quickly repainted it black. At one time, the cat sported a Sunderland FC (red and white stripe) scarf, which was removed after a week when the owner did not reclaim it.

There are plans by the cat team to replace the cat when finance and the manufacturing facilities are available.

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JACK PIKE, Chawston

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