The early bird catching commuters by surprise

tis  Derek Allan with the cockerel at Springboard.  110302M1b.
tis Derek Allan with the cockerel at Springboard. 110302M1b.

It’s a sound you might associate with the countryside, with rolling hills and idyllic farmyards.

But a cock-a-doodle-doo startling early risers in Harrogate town centre? Is this some kind of yolk?

Far from it. An unnamed rooster has been surprising unsuspecting passers-by in the early hours, near Oxford Street.

Commuters, refuse collectors and other morning people have been unaware of the source - until now.

The Harrogate Advertiser series can exclusively reveal that this avian urbanite lives in a garden next to the Wesley Chapel, at the Harrogate Homeless Project.

“He crows a lot,” said Liz Hancock, project manager. “The people sleeping here often hear him screeching at about 4am.

“We see people walking past looking confused and stop to look around, but nobody notices the garden.”

The Springboard Day Service at the Harrogate Homeless Project provides homeless and vulnerable people with support, advice, food and a shower.

Last year, it was given funding for a gardening club and users at the centre built a greenhouse and some raised beds.

The finishing touches to this green town centre haven were some chirping chicks, who moved in last summer.

“They have settled in well,” said Liz. “The hen is laying eggs, which we do eat. The only problem was when the cockerel escaped.

“He was balancing on the fence near the Early Learning Centre, watching people. We had to clip his wings to stop him from jumping up.”

l If you can think of a name for the currently unnamed rooster, email or write to us at the address on Page 6, and we will pass your ideas on to his owners.