Meet the very real crochet fairies whose wonderful postbox creations in Pendle are delighting millions
Do you believe in fairies?
If the answer is 'no' then this story may just change your mind.
For the Barlick Yarn Fairies are very real indeed and their wonderful and unique creations have brought pleasure to millions of people in the past week since the death of the Queen.
Yes, you did read that correctly... millions. For a photo shared on the Burnley Express facebook page of a crown topper crocheted by the fairies, who are based in Barnoldswick, was seen by at least three million people.
It was shared thousands of times and posted in several different knitting groups too.
The tribute to Her Majesty was lovingly crocheted and placed on the postbox at Castle Road in Colne by the fairies in the dead of night.
I managed to track down one of the fairies this week and she revealed anonymity was a key part of their existence and mystique.
"If our creations can help to lift someone's spirits that makes us very happy," the fairy told me. "This is not about recognition for us as only our very close family and friends know who we are."
The fairies found each other in lockdown when they discovered they shared a love of crocheting. One of the first projects they became involved in was the Octopus for a Preemie project which is a group of people who crochet and knit little octopuses and jellyfish to comfort premature babies.
To the premature baby, the carefully made octopus's tentacles feel like their mother's umbilical cord.
Since then their crochet creations and toppers, which are designs made for the top of postboxes, have appeared regularly, usually at special occasions and events including Remembrance Sunday, VE Day, Mother's Day and the Queen's Platinum jubilee this summer. In the past two years they have made around 50 toppers.
The fairies faced a dilemma when they won a Pride of Barnoldswick award and had to come up with a way to conceal their identity.
"We got round it as it was during the time in the pandemic when you had to wear a mask. So we teamed those with bobble hats pulled right down, " said the fairy.