‘There last night but gone this morning’ - Mystery mugs vanish from A47 roundabout
PUBLISHED: 15:53 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 30 July 2020
A circle of colourful teacups and a striped china chamberpot have been removed from a busy roundabout on the A47 - seemingly bringing an end to a crockery-bombing phenomenon that had lasted for weeks.
The china had begun to appear on the traffic calming circle, close to Gorleston’s James Paget University Hospital, in early July, with more and more cups being added throughout the month.
But on Thursday morning (July 30) motorists passing the otherwise unremarkable junction were surprised to see the crockery had vanished.
And Highways England, which earlier in the week had said it was “as puzzled as everyone else” about the multiplying mugs, has said contractors working for the agency removed the china on Wednesday night (July 29).
A spokesperson for Highways England said: “Placing the tea cups on a busy roundabout is dangerous; not just for the perpetrator but also for the drivers using the roundabout and our on-road teams who have to remove them.”
One motorist said: “I drive past there daily and they were there last night but gone this morning.
“To be honest they amused me. It was simple thing that brought the community together and a lot of people detoured that route to be able to see them.
“I personally didn’t see any harm in them.”
The china’s appearance was shrouded in mystery and had prompted mixed reaction among locals, with some regarding it as a distraction likely to attract vandals, while for others it was “a bit of fun” started by someone with a good sense of humour.
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By Wednesday, some 40 cups had encircled the junction, which locals had renamed ‘Mad Hatter’s Roundabout’ or ‘Mug Island’.
According to varying reports a single mug or teacup had sat on its own for some time, but had been added to in recent weeks.
A teapot had appeared and there had also been sightings of plates at another nearby roundabout.
Nobody was sure if one person was behind the explosion of china or if others had decided to join in.
A neighbour who lives nearby had said she wasn’t convinced it was art or litter, but mainly “a bit of fun.”
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