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Gnomes
Status: Weird News
Mrs. Broomfield of Colchester has a serious problem. Her neighbor, Gnome Magic, has placed a gnome on top of a pole so that it stands higher than the hedge dividing their property. Mrs. Broomfield feels that the gnome is "peering" at her, and she's filed a complaint. EADT reports:
Tourism attraction Gnome Magic, which features 750 of the ornaments in various scenes, created some heightened debate when it raised one of its characters up on a pole to attract visitors.
Following an objection, a Colchester Borough Council planning officer decided the display needed planning permission and the Dedham-based attraction submitted an application to keep the gnome on high...
Yesterday Peter Chillingworth, chair of the committee, said: “The gnome, which is on a pole, was put up without planning permission and one of our officers decided it needed to be considered formally.”
"There were speakers for and against the gnome. A neighbour objected and was really quite rude about it. She said it peered over her hedge and spoiled her view."
I know how she feels. There's a jackalope head hanging on my wall that's giving me funny looks right now.
Categories: Gnomes
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 01, 2006
Comments (9)
Status: Prank
The Garden Gnome Liberation Army has been in the news recently:

Twelve garden gnomes kidnapped in western Sweden a month ago have been found in a snowy forest, standing in a ring beside a lighted bonfire and a small hut, Swedish news agency TT reported. "It looked very cozy," Bo Larsson, a police officer in the town of Kil, near Karlstad, told TT on Friday. The gnomes mysteriously vanished from their gardens just before Christmas. A letter from the "Garden Gnomes Liberation Army" later claimed responsibility for their disappearance, explaining that the dwarfish figures had pined for freedom.

The gnomes were returned to their former owners.
Categories: Gnomes
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 24, 2006
Comments (8)
Status: Gnome News
image On January 26th, the second Australian Gnome Convention will be held in Glenbrook Park. Gnomes and their carers are invited. The gnomes can socialize in the Gnome Dome, while the humans converse elsewhere. Why Australia? The site explains: "Whilst not native to Australia, Gnomes are reportedly migrating from Europe and Britain to make a new start in 'new lands' where the impact of pollution is less." So if you've lost a gnome recently, maybe it's headed for Australia.
Categories: Gnomes
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 11, 2006
Comments (5)
Status: Prank
Wayne Johnston's garden gnome disappeared. Then he began receiving letters from it posted from all corners of the world. Being a police officer, Johnston launched an unofficial investigation into who was responsible for his gnome's abduction. It turned out almost all his friends were, including those who had been helping him with his investigation.

So this is another instance of the traveling gnome prank. I know that this prank was featured in the 2001 French movie Amelie. It was also further popularized by a Travelocity ad campaign about a traveling gnome. But what I'm not sure about is whether this prank was popular even before Amelie. Have people been sending gnomes around the world for decades?

I should also note that I've finally gotten around to creating a category for gnomes.
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 28, 2005
Comments (21)
Status: Prank
Eighteen garden gnomes were found lined up in the Australian town of Warrnambool, waiting to cross a road. The police stated:

"Right on the crossing, there was some on one side and some on the other side patiently waiting for the traffic to stop," he said. "At this stage we believe it's just a school prank but obviously the owners of the garden gnomes wouldn't appreciate their property being stolen from their gardens. They're just gn-one (gone)."

The gnomes were taken to the police station where they were given a cup of tea. However, the police were unable to fingerprint them. (One of these days I really need to create a separate category just for gnome stories.)
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Nov 18, 2005
Comments (10)
Big Gary sent me this story, knowing that it would be a suitable contribution to the fast-growing Garden Gnome Wing of the museum (one of these days I'll actually get around to creating a gnome category):

LONDON - A grandmother stopped an intruder from entering her home by lobbing a heavy garden gnome at him, police said Friday. Jean Collop was woken early on Tuesday morning by the sound of an intruder on the roof of her home in Wadebridge, southwest England.
"I grabbed the first thing that came to hand — one of my garden gnomes — and hurled it at him, and hit him," she recalled.
"He lay there and I began to scream. I went back into the kitchen and found a rolling pin in case he came down. I didn't want to break another gnome."
A neighbor alerted police who arrived shortly afterward and arrested the intruder.
Categories: Gnomes, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Sun Apr 17, 2005
Comments (10)
image Wikipedia has a brief blurb about the Garden Gnome Liberation Front. This is a political movement dedicated to liberating gnomes from the gardens in which they are imprisoned. Members of the liberation front remove gnomes from gardens and either take them out to the woods to set them loose, or smash them to set their spirit free (personally I think taking them out to the woods sounds like the more humane option). I wonder if they've ever considered taking them to the underwater gnome garden. Anyway, this is an international movement. The American group calls itself Free The Gnomes. The Italian group calls itself MALAG, or the Independent Movement for the Liberation of the Garden Gnomes. One of those days I'm probably going to have to create a new category for gnomes.
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 31, 2005
Comments (40)
In past entries I've written about gnomes that have mysteriously disappeared from gardens and peepshows. Now I think I know where the gnomes have gone. They've travelled to the secret gnome garden that lurks beneath the waters of Wastwater in the Lake District. Authorities report that a gnome garden (which even had a tiny picket fence) was removed from the bottom of the lake a few years ago after some divers died while spending too long searching for it. Now the gnome garden has reappeared, but even deeper beneath the lake, beyond the reach of police divers. Obviously the police are worried that once again divers will be unable to resist the siren call of the gnome garden and perish in the search for it. I think this must be the underwater version of Midgetville. (via The Anomalist)
Update: I managed to find a picture of the underwater gnome garden in this recent article from Cumbria Online.
image
Categories: Gnomes, Places, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 15, 2005
Comments (18)
Reuters reports that scantily clad garden gnomes have disappeared from a "gnome peepshow" located in an East German amusement park. So what exactly is a gnome peepshow? It's an attraction where "visitors peep through keyholes to see the saucy German miniatures in compromising poses." Perhaps the risque gnomes will one day return, accompanied by snapshots of their globe-trotting adventures. (Thanks to Big Gary C for forwarding this story to me)
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 22, 2004
Comments (14)
A bus shelter in Norfolk County, UK has become a favorite target for pranksters. Local residents woke to find the shelter transformed into a living room. "The culprits decked the shelter out with a comfy chair, a television, a lamp, a stereo system and even created a fake fireplace on the wall to complete the homely effect." This isn't the first time the pranksters have struck. Last month "a lawn appeared in the shelter, along with a gnome and a windmill." Unfortunately the article doesn't include a picture of the transformed shelter.
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 29, 2004
Comments (4)
image They're popping up all over the place in Acle: huddled under bus shelters, lined up at the bank. They're garden ornaments (gnomes, Grecian figures, etc.), and no one knows who or what is responsible for their mysterious movements. Let's hope it's not Travelocity.
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 04, 2004
Comments (0)
A lot of people have been emailing me to let me know that the Where Is My Gnome site is part of a viral web campaign by Travelocity, but I've been too busy and never got around to updating that entry. But here's an article that explains the Gnome campaign.
Categories: Advertising, Exploration/Travel, Gnomes
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 08, 2004
Comments (2)
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