'It's turning into Jurassic Park' - Meet the fun Harrogate street turning heads to beat the lockdown blues

A fun-loving Harrogate street is turning heads by transforming itself into Jurassic Park to beat the lockdown blues.
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Residents of Franklin Road wanted to do something 'completely daft and barmy' to bring smiles to children's faces at a time when they are largely stuck at home and can't get out to play with their friends.

After one family made an eye-catching giraffe to put up in their windows, Arden House guest house was inspired to create a huge dinosaur which cleverly stretches and peeps out across all windows and levels of their building.

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Mark Holliday, who owns the guesthouse, said it was his talented daughters, Emily and Georgina, ages nine and 11, who came up with the idea, and invested hours of their time into carefully designing and planning the impressive art installation for the street.

A wonderful creation: The dinosaur at Arden House on Franklin Road. Picture: Sharon Canavar.A wonderful creation: The dinosaur at Arden House on Franklin Road. Picture: Sharon Canavar.
A wonderful creation: The dinosaur at Arden House on Franklin Road. Picture: Sharon Canavar.

As a result. Mark has now thrown an open challenge to the people of Harrogate and beyond to do something similar and help spread joy at a difficult time for us all.

Mark said: "We want imaginations to run wild with this. It's a chance to make memories and make the most of what is a very dark time. Although we are limited in what we can do at the moment, this is a chance for us all to do something we've never done before.

"Everybody wins with this - it keeps children safe and occupied having fun, it gives them something different to do, and it's just a really nice activity. Parents can have discussion time with their children about it, and it encourages them to think a bit outside the box - it gets them away from their iPad, TV, and all their technology, and takes you back to the old days for a bit.

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"It's a completely bonkers idea, but it's great fun. The whole street has been getting involved."

The idea has created a light-hearted sense of competitive community spirit on Franklin Road, and the art has certainly turned heads when children have ventured out for their daily exercise allowance with families.

Mark said: "Children are seeing their local houses as they've never seen them before. I think it's absolutely wonderful, we've had children we've never seen before walking past and pointing at the dinosaur. My kids have been waving through the window at them as they've gone past.

"Everybody's joining in and having fun with it. It's bringing the community together without physically bringing the community together.

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"If you'd told me two weeks ago that I would have a big dinosaur stuck in the window, I would have said, 'are you absolutely mad?' But it's just something completely daft and barmy that people can laugh and have a giggle at. That's why it's there. It gives kids something to look forward to."

Franklin Road is already planning a massive street party for when the country returns to normal after the coronavirus outbreak, and Mark said it has been wonderful to see the way the community has come together during the coronavirus crisis.

He said: "It's bringing the whole community together, we now know everyone on the street, and everybody is looking out for each other. To know that people are there for you makes all the difference, we're all in the same boat."