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‘If my husband could do something to make someone smile he would.’ The woman behind many of Cwmbran’s knitted postbox toppers shares her story

Jackie Hawkins knitted her first postbox topper in June 2021 as it was coming up to her late husband’s birthday and he always loved her craft skills.

She said: “Roger died in April 2020 after a short illness. When it came to his birthday in June 2021 I thought I needed to do something he would like. He was always a supporter of any craft I did. He was a very happy, very smiley man. If he could do something to make people happy and smile, he did.

“I saw a site called Random Acts of Crochet Kindness and they had postbox toppers. So I did one on the postbox on Ty Canol Way. This first one had animals as he was a great animal lover. Then I did one for Remembrance Day with poppies.

knitted animals on a postbox
Jackie’s first postbox creations- knitted animals
Postbox topped with knitted poppies
Jackie’s Remembrance Day postbox

“It was the Christmas one that attracted lots of attention.” This photo shared on Cwmbran Life’s Facebook page received over 10,000 likes.

a knitted Father Christmas
Jackie’s knitted Father Chrismas

“In January I did one on Henllys Way for key workers. My daughter is a nurse in the Grange University Hospital. Then we were having lots of trouble with dog owners not picking up their mess. I did one that included a supply of dog poo bags. Then in March I did the St David’s Day one with daffodils. Altogether I have done about nine.

knitted daffodils on a postbox
Jackie’s St David’s Day creation

“It just makes people smile.

“Sometimes people knit small gifts like ‘Worry Worms‘, just to say ‘someone is thinking of you’. There are also teddy bear faces. I’ve done these and left them around the place. One ended up in Australia. It was left at Tredegar House and a woman found it and took it to Australia when she visited her grandchildren.

“They took it to school and gave it to their teacher who emailed me. Her name was Lynne Cross, the deputy principal at Poynter Primary School Duncraig in Western Australia. She said it was the nicest surprise she had had in a while and she was keeping it close. How lovely is that?

“Our local postman loves them. Apparently, the post office have their site so shares photos of them there.”

Jackie said the “top bit” takes a few hours each evening for two weeks. And then the characters on top can take anything up to a “couple of months” depending on their complexity.

“I’ve knitted since I was a little girl. I find it therapeutic especially since my husband died. Particularly over winter, the evenings can be long. I’m not a lover of telly so I keep my fingers busy at the same time.”

She also loves knitting baby cardigans and blankets for her friends. Look out for more knitted characters appearing through 2022.

A knitted Queen on top of postbox on A knitted Queen on top of postbox a knitted queen on a postbox

Posted inNews

‘If my husband could do something to make someone smile he would.’ The woman behind many of Cwmbran’s knitted postbox toppers shares her story

Postbox topped with knitted queen
Jackie's knitted Queen on top of postbox on Ty Canol Way