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Tripping the lamb fantastic

Monday exclusive: Superlambananas bow out with one last farewell, but Confidential's very own Larry the Lamb says they should be given the freedom of Liverpool

Published on August 26th 2008.

Tripping the lamb fantastic

IF they were giving out Olympic-style gold medals for Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture, the winner would be Superlambananas. The flock of 125 half-lamb, half-banana visitors have given pleasure to tens of thousands of people over the summer.

I’ve seen people dashing around with treasure-maps desperate to see every single one as though they were hunting buried treasure.

I’ve seen men of an age who should know better scramble onto some of the lambs – particularly the race-horse version in Old Hall Street.

But now is the time for the lambs to say goodbye after 10 weeks. They are being rounded up and taken to a secret pen where they will be scrubbed up before being auctioned.

There will be one last chance for the adoring fans to say their goodbyes. The 70 of them to be auctioned at St George’s Hall on September 9 are to be displayed one last time on September 8 and again on the day of the big sell-off. The proceeds of the auction will boost Lord Mayor Steve Rotheram’s charity drive. Another 35 will be sold via an internet auction and the rest will be gifted to various communities of Liverpool.

So here’s my plea. Let’s give the Superlambananas the freedom of city, civic recognition for the way they engaged people from every part of the city and beyond, and crossed all possible social class.

They were there for everyone to see, for once no front-row seats for the usual herd of VIPs, with the rest of us having to peek over their shoulders. They became the people’s lambs.

Such is the affection for the lambs, many want them to stay forever. Sadly that’s not possible as they were only ever constructed for a limited display.

Why not, though, have a Superlambanana Festival every July, bringing back for just a week or two, as many of the lambs as possible?

Just a few days ago a letter writer to a local newspaper said the Superlambanana show was the best event of 08 by the Capital of Culture Company. Wronggggg..

Not wanting to land myself into a bath of ship-dip, I have to say Superlambanas were the dream and the work of business couple Sally-ann Wilkinson and Charlie Longhorne. Yes, the CoC did offer help and support after many months of discussions. But it was Sally-ann and Charlie creating the vision and taking the financial risk.

I met Sally-ann what seems like an age ago through Marketing consultant Tim Crutchley of Liverpool firm Finch. Nervously she wondered then how Liverpool would react to an army of Superlambananas in 2008. They’ll love them, every one of them, I said.

And indeed we have. Of course Grosvenor missed out – they turned down the offer to display some of the lambs in and around Liverpool One. Liverpool John Lennon Airport, happy to accept Yellow Submarine, gave the lambs the chop. I bet they both regret the decision.

Sally-ann told me: “I had a vision, and now I realise we must have been insane to embark on this, not knowing how the public would react. It was, after all, a high-risk project (financially) when I look back.

“But Superlambananas captured the imagination of everybody. I am overwhelmed by the response. They have all captured the spirit of Liverpool and the spirit of culture year. They have been a unifying spirit.”

Sally-ann and Charlie who run Wild At Art were responsible for the cows that were seen all over Manchester and currently they have a herd of elephants around Norwich.

But Superlambananas must rank as their big success. Only one or two suffered damage as they braved the elements and an inquisitive public on the streets of Liverpool.

I’m delighted the Culture Company eventually agreed to embrace Superlambananas, so a bit of a thanks to them, but I’m even more delighted around 100 business, organisations and individuals put up the sponsorship to make it happen.

Tim Crutchley of Finch said: “They have been fantastic for Liverpool.”

So let’s award Gold and the Freedom of Liverpool to the Superlambanas of 08. They deserve nothing less.

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

WappingAugust 25th 2008.

A permanent page of pictures of them all here would be quite good I think.

London RoadAugust 25th 2008.

I heard it was a giant spider!

MaggieAugust 25th 2008.

LTKICT and Oystercatcher, the cow parade in Manchester was a rip-off of cow parades done in US cities, long before Manchester jumped on the band wagon.Superlambanana belongs in Liverpool, so it's fitting that lots arrived this year.I am disabled, so not able to take part in most of the European City of Culture events, but have had fun seeing some lamb bananas while being driven through the city.

LTKICT - FTSAugust 25th 2008.

Well, what can I say - again, Liverpool copy off Manchester - Oystercatcher is right - Cow Parade was done years ago in Manchester. Lets face fact, if Liverpool hadn't given Manchester support for the Commenwealth games then Manchester would've done their own bid for European Capital of Culture and would've walked off with the title, not only that - they would've done a much better show and put the funding into much more beneficial things instead of sticking Capital of Culture boards on all the boarded up crackdens on Edge Lane.

scouse690August 25th 2008.

Well, the Superlambananas are being taken off the streets....halfway through the '08 Liverpool Capital of Culture.WHY??Only to be auctioned off at St Georges Hall for a charity event, at £40 per head, just to even be there...at the auction I mean.Why not leave it till the end of the year, then do the auction? BOO HISS!Or better still, leave our superlambananas alone, and build on them for next year.They have been such a huge success...and HAVE brightened up every ones lives.WE SHOULD BE PROUD THEM. I know the SLB vets have been called in a number of times, but why auction them off to the wealthy (a fraction only goes to Charities).PLEASE, PLEASE leave them be...and then let us build on it for next year....and the following years, too.And don't let us forget....Wayne Bradley,He of the..."get my piccie in anyway I can"...interesting initials....W***er BananaI'd love to adapt the "Peel Banana"...which was superb, by the way...just for you.

OystercatcherAugust 25th 2008.

Haven't you had enough of them? I have. Yes, everybody says they are the best thing about Capital of Culture. That may be true, but if it is, can you not see the tragedy in that? The irony? A derivative event from the Manchester Cow Parade? Even the Liverpool Nativity event was a weak and watered down version of the Manchester Passion. Can we not have an original idea in our heads for a change? This is EUROPEAN Capital of Culture and while I once liked the superlambana and the Beatles, this is all wearing a bit thin in terms of WOW factor and my patience. It has SO been all done before!

DigAugust 25th 2008.

What odds the Artichoke/ La Machine is a 50ft Superlambanana? If it isn't it's an insult and I'm going to bring it down like one of those big walky things from Star Wars. I'll leave it be if it strolls around the city stamping on the pillocks of the city. Oi Bradley and you Price get back in the queue. I'm bringing Starr down from the Arena roof especially. You're 1st.

DorothyAugust 25th 2008.

The superlambananas have been wonderful - so many people have been seen photographing them. I'm sure many of these photos will go round the world as reminders of a visit to Liverpool,The Capital Of Culture 2008. What a pity they can't stay and brighten up our streets.

DigAugust 25th 2008.

I repeat, Most people don't care whether they are original or not as they have brightened up the city streets. By the way Liverpool always had the 'original' Superlambanana so how can our smaller legion of Superlambanans be deemed 'unoriginal'? Also they are Superlambanas, not cows in case you didn't notice. Anyway how original is a cow compared to a Superlambanana? A cow is a cow is a cow. A Superlambanana raises questions about genetic engineering. To some people it about Liverpool maritime import and export of cotton and fruit. To some it has connections with the slave trade, but to most they are just lovely individual sculptures putting colour on the city streets and making people smile.

DigAugust 25th 2008.

Oh shut up Oystercatcher you miserable sod. I drive thru the City Centre regularly every day and every time I do there is invariably people around and on the Superlambanas taking pictures and smiling. If seeing people laugh and smile isn't a good thing then I don't know what is. Original or not? I think most people don't care as they certainly have brightened the city streets.

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