Interview with Stephen Cross – The man behind the ‘woodpecker-riding weasel’ sign

Category: Local Park 9

With excitement we have been keeping a close eye on the story of the ‘woodpecker-riding weasel’ picture in Hornchurch Country Park and how a sign appeared commemorating the event

We were lucky enough to contact ‘Stephen Cross’ the man behind the sign, to ask him about the event and what inspired him to go about planting the sign


How did the idea of placing the sign on the site come about?
We were talking about the photo and how awesome it was, I informed everyone that it was in my local park and the idea quickly sprung up from that conversation.

Do you live in or near Hornchurch?
I live in Hornchurch and have done since the age of 2 I think?

Could you describe the operation of erecting the sign, what happened that night?
Friday, using my advertising colleagues and their contacts we had the sign designed and made.
Saturday, with the help of my friends in the welding trade, I managed to cut the pole and weld it on the signs.
Sunday, a trusted friend and I erected the signs at 6:30 am. We were disturbed by some dog walkers who all thought it was a great idea and very funny.

What are your thoughts on everyone’s reaction to the sign, did you expect the huge reaction you received on the internet?
I’m over moon with the reaction but to be honest the original photo is the real hero, I still can’t believe how good it is.

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Have you received much reaction from Friends and Family?
Friends and family love it, and to be honest from what I’ve read so do the council. If they do remove the sign they should erect a permeant monument to the photo that made Hornchurch globally famous.

How do you feel about London Borough Havering’s reaction to the sign, do you think it will remain there for much longer?
I don’t think they’ll leave it up as they don’t want to set a precedent, but I hear there’s a poll asking the people whether it should stay. And it’s looking good so far.

What do you think is next for the woodpecker-riding weasel? Merchandise? A stage production?
Well Havering are building a museum in the country park right now, so they should definitely make merchandise. I could imagine some cool plush toys of a weasel on the back of a woodpecker. If the council want any ideas on how to maximize this amazing photo, I’d be more than happy to contribute.

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