'Bloomers' could hang from Bentham tree

Craven Herald: Artist Marjan Wouda with her sculpture of bloomers Artist Marjan Wouda with her sculpture of bloomers

A pair of steel “bloomers” could take pride of place hanging from a tree in Bentham.

The sculpture is set to be part of a Pioneer Projects scheme to mark passing places along the Way of the Roses cycle route.

Now Craven planners are being asked to approve the unusual request for the steel-mesh sculpture to be suspended from a tree near the Punch Bowl Hotel.

The sculpture has been designed by Dutch artist Marjan Wouda, who came up with the idea of bloomers after talking to people from the area.

More than 600 people contributed to the project before ideas were narrowed down to the bloomers.

Alison Clough, of Pioneer Projects, said the design was based on the story that people who worked at the Ford Ayrton silk mill in Low Bentham had prior knowledge of the colour of Queen Victoria's underwear as they wove the silk that made them.

Bloomers were also the first must-have fashion item for cycling because Victorian women could not ride bicycles in dresses.

Pioneer Projects is working in partnership with Sustrans, which created the new cycling route.

The long-term plan is to make a circular trail taking in other designs to draw visitors to the town.

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