Tooting's mystery knitting protester revealed
The Wandsworth Guardian can exclusively reveal the identity of Tooting’s mystery knitter.
Last week we reported on an unconventional protest banner that has popped up in the town’s high street.
The knitted message, pinned to railings between the High Street and Garratt Lane, reads: "Tooting says no to more betting shops."
The anti-bookie yarn-spinner has now revealed herself to be 58-year-old Penny Ryan.
Ms Ryan, who has lived in Tooting since 1981, managed to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes.
She said: "I am what you call a passionate knitter, and I am so fed up of all the betting shops opening up in the area.
"I would love them to open a wool shop or a book shop instead. I would do it myself but I don’t have the energy anymore.
"I love Tooting, and I just feel there are better things that can be put in these spaces."
Ms Ryan, who has been knitting for over 50 years, started making the banner on Friday, February 18.
It took two weeks for the fabric fulmination to materialise, before she stuck it up at a busy junction on Saturday, March 15.
A few days later a turf war unravelled between Ms Ryan and someone tired of protesters spinning them a yarn.
A response was pinned below the sign on Thursday March 20.
It read: "Tooting says no to politicised knitting."
Ms Ryan, who runs an accountancy firm, said: "I think the response is a bit of fun, and I am glad someone is exercising their freedom of speech.
"The reply has also generated more interest, so it is doing my cause a massive favour."
The number of bookmakers in the town has led to a public outcry, and local business have clubbed together to form the Save Our High Street Campaign.
Ms Ryan is planning more knitted protests in future.
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