Monday, August 11, 2008

The Garden Gnome Liberation Front Strikes Again

Gnome at last: Stunned owner finds kidnapped ornament on doorstep, with photos of him in 12 countries around the world

By Beth Hale

If only he could talk there would surely be extraordinary tales to tell.

He's been swimming with turtles off the Great Barrier Reef, scaled a glacier in New Zealand and toured the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.

Unfortunately the gnome formerly known as Murphy is giving nothing away - save for a singularly enigmatic smile.

On holiday: Murphy the leprechaun poses for a picture in front of Sydney Opera House in Australia

On holiday: Murphy the leprechaun poses for a picture in front of Sydney Opera House in Australia

The adventures of Murphy, now Barrington (of which more later), began back in September after the best part of a decade spent in 'quiet reflection' in a simple flower bed in the 'Shire'.

Owners Eve and Derrick Stuart-Kelso were stunned to discover the 10-inch high stone leprechaun they had inherited when they bought their Gloucester home, had disappeared.

The couple, both retired, assumed the gnome had fallen foul of students from a nearby college and would never be seen again.

Taking a dip: Murphy cools off in Thailand

Taking a dip: Murphy cools off in Thailand

Both keen travellers, the couple never dreamed that the humble green-hatted garden ornament was setting of an around the world jaunt taking in 12 countries and three continents.

And oblivious they would have remained if Murphy had not decided that there really is just no place like home.

The 8lb gnome appeared on the Stuart-Kelso's doorstep on Thursday last week, some 11 months after disappearing.

A little the worse for wear, the traveller was standing next to a mysterious and tightly-wrapped parcel.

Once unwrapped it revealed a leather-bound photo album containing 48 pictures of the gnome's trip around the globe along with a note putting his impromptu world tour down to 'itchy feet'.

The painstakingly compiled album, complete with index, showed their gnome - renamed Barrington by his travel companions - abseiling down a mountain, standing in a shark's mouth, swimming in the sea, and riding a motorbike.


On top of the world: The gnome takes a cable car ride

Also with him were immigration stamps for all the shores he had been taken to visit - South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Laos.

A witty note, purporting to be from Barrington, referred to his 'travelling companion' only as The Bear, and told the couple how he attracted unwanted attention from customs officials and took up 25 per cent of the party's luggage allocation.

The only clue, however, to the identity of those companions was a photograph of a group of grinning young men.

As for the letter it began:

'Hello! First of all I feel I should explain my prolonged absence. A gnome's life is full of time for reflection, and whilst surveying your garden one summer morning, I began to get itchy feet.

'I came to the conclusion that the world is a big place and there is more to life than watching the daily commuter traffic, and allowing passing cats to urinate on you.

'So I decided to free myself from the doldrums of the Shire and seek adventure. My travels have taken me across three continents, 12 countries and more time zones than I can possibly remember.


Adventurer: Murphy joins some ice-climbers

'There have been high points, low points, and positively terrifying points. But I have survived - small thanks to the companion with whom I have shared all these moments.'

The bizarre crime echoes the French film 'Amelie' starring Audrey Tatou in which a gnome belonging to her father is taken around the world and photographed to show him how much he is missing out on in life.

Last night grandmother-of-three Mrs Stuart-Kelso said: 'The leprechaun went missing many, many months ago and I had forgotten about it.

'Then I opened the door on Thursday and saw he was back. It was such a shock.

'Murphy was quite badly damaged and there was a tightly wrapped parcel next to him. My curiosity eventually overcame my alarm, because I did wonder if it might explode.

'Then I saw it was a beautifully bound photo album and opened it up.

His feet were missing, but that's no real surprise given that he was sent abseiling down a mountain.'

Stunned: Grandmother Eve Stuart-Kelso found her gnome on her doorstep, with a letter and photo album of his travels

Stunned: Grandmother Eve Stuart-Kelso found her gnome on her doorstep, with a letter and photo album of his travels

She said while strange, the gift had sent the family into fits of laughter.

She said her grandchildren, Sophie, 14, Ellie, 13, and Piers, 13, would be thrilled to hear of the gnome's adventures. The trio give the green-hatted gnome a fresh coat of paint every year.

Gloucestershire police took a less amused view of the adventure.

A spokesman said: 'Any theft of a person's property, even if it is carried out as a joke, will be treated as a crime by police.'

As for Murphy, his wanderlust satisfied he is now back in the flower bed where he belongs - only this time he's out of temptation's way in the back garden.


dan said...

"The very same story has been done before, I think it may have been in New Zealand."

this was a FAKE news story. It did not happen this way. all the people were actors in a pre-arranged story. cute. summertimne. but not TRUE.

google it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Murphy the Gnome story was fake news story!

Murphy the Gnome story was fake news story!

it did not happen that way, the UK media put out a cute summer story, but it did not happen that way. this entire news story was for a book promotion stunt.

COMPLETEY UNTRUE THE WAY IT WAS REPORTED. both the woman and the artist were in on this. Wake up readers of the world!

MegatonMaynard said...

Geez, takes some ludes and chill out

dan said...


yeh, i did take some ludes and chill Simon wrote me too, with the gods honest truth, and i take it all back now, with egg on my face eating humble pie:


" Simon said... Hi Danny

Hi, I'm not sure whether you'll believe this (ironic considering the
subject) but I'm Simon Randles (just found this thread via Google) and
I can assure you that it is perfectly legitimate. There are no book
deals in pipeline, nor tv shows and I had no idea it would get this
kind of coverage.

I'd urge you all to add me on facebook (Sir Simon Randles, West
Midlands network) and have a look at my photos which will show me with
said gnome in a number of locations. Also, my travel blog can be found
here for further evidence:-

Not sure what else I can do to convince you but hopefully you'll
approach it with an open mind.


August 13, 2008 2:24 PM