Former Old Market Centre pigs on final parade

Somerset County Gazette: The three wooden pigs were removed from the former Old Market Centre in 2009. The three wooden pigs were removed from the former Old Market Centre in 2009.

REMEMBER the three wooden pigs that once adorned the former Old Market Centre, now Orchard, in Taunton?

They’re back – well two of them, as the third is so badly damaged it’s gone to the sty in the sky – and they could be yours.

They’re off on a farewell ‘Snout and About’ tour, after which they’ll be auctioned off.

The Taunton Two, no relation to the Tamworth Two, are bac(k)on the scene after being found wallowing in a store cupboard and given to The Brewhouse theatre.

But they won’t be hamming it up on stage as they’re trotting around town between several locations, starting in Orchard on February 11 and finishing at the Brewhouse on April 13.

Businesses and individuals can pork out sponsorship for the curly-tailed creatures, which were removed from Orchard in 2009 and are getting a facelift from local artists Michael Fairfax and Natalie Parsley.

Spokesman Mr A.N. Chapbook said: “The pigs will tour around Taunton, so residents, tourists and businesses can enjoy them again.

“They’ll be displayed in public places, allowing people free access to view them.

“Businesses will be given the opportunity to temporarily ‘adopt’ the pigs at certain points in the tour, enabling them to have the pigs at their premises, or sponsoring them in situ at a local attraction.”

A guide book is being published and people will be encouraged to post comments on Facebook and Twitter accounts, while competitions will be run throughout the tour.

The pigs will be auctioned off at The Brewhouse at the end of the tour, with proceeds going to the theatre.

We must own up to a rasher of journalistic licence – in case you hadn’t noticed, Mr A. N. Chapbook is an anagram of pork, bacon, ham.

Comments (13)

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3:00pm Sat 12 Jan 13

BillBennett says...

I think this is so wrong. Something that delighted people around Taunton, being auctioned off to the highest private bidder, rather than let the townspeople continue to enjoy them.

Its like if London decided to sell Big Ben to Coke, or the Statue of Liberty became the "Statue of Walmart".

Not impressed.
I think this is so wrong. Something that delighted people around Taunton, being auctioned off to the highest private bidder, rather than let the townspeople continue to enjoy them. Its like if London decided to sell Big Ben to Coke, or the Statue of Liberty became the "Statue of Walmart". Not impressed. BillBennett

4:33pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Thurza says...

BillBennett wrote:
I think this is so wrong. Something that delighted people around Taunton, being auctioned off to the highest private bidder, rather than let the townspeople continue to enjoy them.

Its like if London decided to sell Big Ben to Coke, or the Statue of Liberty became the "Statue of Walmart".

Not impressed.
I agree, I was sorry to see them removed from the Old Market Centre . They should be installed somewhere where we all can enjoy them perhaps to cheer up the Taunton Castle area which seems to be turning into a car park again.
[quote][p][bold]BillBennett[/bold] wrote: I think this is so wrong. Something that delighted people around Taunton, being auctioned off to the highest private bidder, rather than let the townspeople continue to enjoy them. Its like if London decided to sell Big Ben to Coke, or the Statue of Liberty became the "Statue of Walmart". Not impressed.[/p][/quote]I agree, I was sorry to see them removed from the Old Market Centre [ along with the Toads]. They should be installed somewhere where we all can enjoy them perhaps to cheer up the Taunton Castle area which seems to be turning into a car park again. Thurza

5:13pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Slow down! says...

Castle (not so) green is a car park as the council forgot to apply for permission to charge cars to park there, so as I understand it you could park there all day for free until they get the required documents in place to rip people off.

As for the pigs IMO they are still needed in the Pig market (sorry Orchard) as there isn't enough seats.
Castle (not so) green is a car park as the council forgot to apply for permission to charge cars to park there, so as I understand it you could park there all day for free until they get the required documents in place to rip people off. As for the pigs IMO they are still needed in the Pig market (sorry Orchard) as there isn't enough seats. Slow down!

8:08pm Sat 12 Jan 13

boliston says...

Slow down! wrote:
Castle (not so) green is a car park as the council forgot to apply for permission to charge cars to park there, so as I understand it you could park there all day for free until they get the required documents in place to rip people off.

As for the pigs IMO they are still needed in the Pig market (sorry Orchard) as there isn't enough seats.
I noticed today cars blatantly parked on the newly pedestrianised Castle Green.

I can see that vehicular access is still required for the Castle Hotel but surely they can install bollards to ensure vehicles keep off the pedestrianised part.
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Castle (not so) green is a car park as the council forgot to apply for permission to charge cars to park there, so as I understand it you could park there all day for free until they get the required documents in place to rip people off. As for the pigs IMO they are still needed in the Pig market (sorry Orchard) as there isn't enough seats.[/p][/quote]I noticed today cars blatantly parked on the newly pedestrianised Castle Green. I can see that vehicular access is still required for the Castle Hotel but surely they can install bollards to ensure vehicles keep off the pedestrianised part. boliston

11:03am Sun 13 Jan 13

Blueshift says...

I loved those pigs so much, it gutted me when I discovered they had gone, just so the shopping centre could be made that little bit more lifeless and soulless.

Now apparently these beloved seats were chucked in a shed and one really badly damaged?

And they're getting artists to paint them? What? No! Don't ruin them further! Don't sell them off! No-one wanted to get rid of them in the first place, bring them back to where they belong!
I loved those pigs so much, it gutted me when I discovered they had gone, just so the shopping centre could be made that little bit more lifeless and soulless. Now apparently these beloved seats were chucked in a shed and one really badly damaged? And they're getting artists to paint them? What? No! Don't ruin them further! Don't sell them off! No-one wanted to get rid of them in the first place, bring them back to where they belong! Blueshift

6:01pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Blueshift says...

...And what about those three frogs that used to be there? I loved those frogs!

Free the three frogs!
...And what about those three frogs that used to be there? I loved those frogs! Free the three frogs! Blueshift

7:37pm Sun 13 Jan 13

jeanniev1 says...

So, so wrong. Those pigs were a landmark for so many years and my children who are now parents themselves remember them so well. How sad that they were chucked in a cupboard.If I had the money I would bid for them myself. Instead, I'll visit my old home town and find..... nothing!!
So, so wrong. Those pigs were a landmark for so many years and my children who are now parents themselves remember them so well. How sad that they were chucked in a cupboard.If I had the money I would bid for them myself. Instead, I'll visit my old home town and find..... nothing!! jeanniev1

9:41pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Sweet Sapphire says...

The reactions to the Pigs being sold is ridiculous. They are just novelty benches after all.Hardly comparable to Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty.
The reactions to the Pigs being sold is ridiculous. They are just novelty benches after all.Hardly comparable to Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty. Sweet Sapphire

10:57pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Blueshift says...

I found the webpage of one of the local artists. What have they done to it?? http://michaellfairf
ax.blogspot.co.uk/20
12/11/the-travails-o
f-war-pig.html

I only dread to think what horrid fate has befallen the other surviving pig!
I found the webpage of one of the local artists. What have they done to it?? http://michaellfairf ax.blogspot.co.uk/20 12/11/the-travails-o f-war-pig.html I only dread to think what horrid fate has befallen the other surviving pig! Blueshift

10:05am Mon 14 Jan 13

Slow down! says...

The frogs are in Victoria Park living a happy life.
The frogs are in Victoria Park living a happy life. Slow down!

10:06am Mon 14 Jan 13

Slow down! says...

or are they toads?
or are they toads? Slow down!

1:49pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Albert F says...

I loved those pigs too (although I wouldnt compare them to Big Ben as I doubt they could ever have been classed as a worldwide attraction - some people have an extremely overdramatic reaction to things !!) BUT..If they've been in a 'shed' all this time, they were probably rotten and they probably aren't suitable to be used as seating anymore??
I think using them as an art attraction is a brilliant idea - I think the Castle or another public attraction should bid on them and display them in the grounds so we can all enjoy them again.
I loved those pigs too (although I wouldnt compare them to Big Ben as I doubt they could ever have been classed as a worldwide attraction - some people have an extremely overdramatic reaction to things !!) BUT..If they've been in a 'shed' all this time, they were probably rotten and they probably aren't suitable to be used as seating anymore?? I think using them as an art attraction is a brilliant idea - I think the Castle or another public attraction should bid on them and display them in the grounds so we can all enjoy them again. Albert F

2:01pm Mon 14 Jan 13

The Brewhouse says...

We think it’s wonderful that the Orchard Pigs still have the power to stimulate comment and debate. Nothing has been seen of them, or said about them, for years now following initial reaction to their removal. Art projects which engage with people all share this effect, although of course that can mean a “Marmite” response: in the case of the pigs, they may not be to everyone’s taste but we think most will love them when they re-emerge.

The pigs were removed from the Orchard Shopping Centre as part of its refurbishment and were never destined to return. Through nobody’s fault water ingress and just plain age caused one pig to rot into an unsalvageable state. In fact, the pigs were in an open area of the shopping centre and this is where the rot set in, so to speak. One of the reasons for removing them in the first place was that they were beginning to be in a potentially dangerous state for the public to sit on. Of the remaining two, a similar case of water damage means that it is now effectively a hollow shell and therefore unsafe to sit on, but still retained enough integrity to make the basis of one of the pieces of art, after years of chewing gum had been painstakingly removed.

The other pig was fully dismantled and brought back to a structurally sound state, and we hope that when it is displayed people will indeed take the opportunity to perch on it and have their photo taken. It’s a rare piece of art that you can not only get close to, but actually sit on.

We were delighted when Orchard approached us to come up with ways in which artists could ‘up-cycle’ these iconic items that were destined for the skip as they were beyond economical repair (prior to removal from the Orchard). The idea of touring them around the town for three months acknowledges the wider sense of ownership that the people of Taunton felt for the pigs when they were a feature of the shopping centre.

The Brewhouse is a registered charity and needs to raise a significant sum over and above box office income in order to stay open and provide accessible arts to Taunton and the surrounding area, so we are extremely grateful to orchard for being given the opportunity to raise funds with such an interesting project.

In all likelihood whoever bids successfully for the pigs will be a local person, and so the pigs will continue to be seen in Taunton.

We hope that by refurbishing the Orchard pigs and displaying them in an open but controlled way, people will be able to enjoy them again. Certainly better, we feel, than having them hidden away in storage until completely rotted away.

As well as popular interest we really hope that the community will get involved by sharing their memories, that local budding artists will be inspired, that parents will be encouraged to share their stories of the old days with the pigs with their children and visitors to Taunton will have something to enjoy, just for fun, in the run up to Easter. We hope that everyone will come and see the pigs as they move around Taunton from February.
We think it’s wonderful that the Orchard Pigs still have the power to stimulate comment and debate. Nothing has been seen of them, or said about them, for years now following initial reaction to their removal. Art projects which engage with people all share this effect, although of course that can mean a “Marmite” response: in the case of the pigs, they may not be to everyone’s taste but we think most will love them when they re-emerge. The pigs were removed from the Orchard Shopping Centre as part of its refurbishment and were never destined to return. Through nobody’s fault water ingress and just plain age caused one pig to rot into an unsalvageable state. In fact, the pigs were in an open area of the shopping centre and this is where the rot set in, so to speak. One of the reasons for removing them in the first place was that they were beginning to be in a potentially dangerous state for the public to sit on. Of the remaining two, a similar case of water damage means that it is now effectively a hollow shell and therefore unsafe to sit on, but still retained enough integrity to make the basis of one of the pieces of art, after years of chewing gum had been painstakingly removed. The other pig was fully dismantled and brought back to a structurally sound state, and we hope that when it is displayed people will indeed take the opportunity to perch on it and have their photo taken. It’s a rare piece of art that you can not only get close to, but actually sit on. We were delighted when Orchard approached us to come up with ways in which artists could ‘up-cycle’ these iconic items that were destined for the skip as they were beyond economical repair (prior to removal from the Orchard). The idea of touring them around the town for three months acknowledges the wider sense of ownership that the people of Taunton felt for the pigs when they were a feature of the shopping centre. The Brewhouse is a registered charity and needs to raise a significant sum over and above box office income in order to stay open and provide accessible arts to Taunton and the surrounding area, so we are extremely grateful to orchard for being given the opportunity to raise funds with such an interesting project. In all likelihood whoever bids successfully for the pigs will be a local person, and so the pigs will continue to be seen in Taunton. We hope that by refurbishing the Orchard pigs and displaying them in an open but controlled way, people will be able to enjoy them again. Certainly better, we feel, than having them hidden away in storage until completely rotted away. As well as popular interest we really hope that the community will get involved by sharing their memories, that local budding artists will be inspired, that parents will be encouraged to share their stories of the old days with the pigs with their children and visitors to Taunton will have something to enjoy, just for fun, in the run up to Easter. We hope that everyone will come and see the pigs as they move around Taunton from February. The Brewhouse

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