Talented artist behind colourful local post-box hats is bringing more joy to residents at Button House

Button House in the pretty London suburb of Hackbridge – a Brio Retirement Living development – has welcomed local artist Carole Baker to run ‘Craft & Chat’ classes for its residents and friends in the area.

Carole is the talent behind the post-box hats which have been popping up in and around Hackbridge and Carshalton – featuring familiar faces from Shaun the Sheep and Gromit to a beautiful rainbow unicorn. Carole has crocheted 15 in total which are now part of The Great Wooley Hat Trail where locals can follow a map to see them all, and they will be on view until September 14th.

Button House is one of the area’s most vibrant later living communities which boasts a collection of 80 stylish apartments – comprising a range of beautiful one- and two-bedroom homes all suitably designed for those over the age of 55. Each home comes with a private and spacious balcony, plus a range of exciting onsite facilities including a fitness studio, the exclusive Slate & Grain brasserie, bar and coffee lounge, a community hub and more 

Carole, who lives in Carlshalton, shared: “I’ve been working with the team at Button House since the start of the year hosting ‘Craft & Chat’ classes and they’re an absolute joy to do – it’s such a positive place to work and the integration between residents and non-residents is fabulous for the individuals and the area.

“Following an art installation, I worked on in 2021, I noted there was a definite need for more groups to meet over the love of all things arty and crafty. I currently run three sessions of Craft & Chat now – two of which are held at Button House. They’re a chance for everyone to work on a project of their choice, chat over a cuppa and enjoy lots of laughter whilst being inspired by the work of others.”

Residents at Button House are currently busy working on a number of crafty items including an English pieced patchwork quilt and felted comfort stones.

Carole initially started the post-box hat trend during lockdown. “My first hat was made during the ‘Christmas is cancelled period’ of 2020. I’d been made redundant, times were incredibly difficult for all, and I just wanted to do something positive for the community. My first hat appeared in Carshalton High Street in January 2021 – the immediate impact was overwhelming – who knew putting a woolly hat on a post box could bring so much positivity! The crocheting just grew from there and I love hearing from locals of all ages how the hats put a smile on their faces – that’s the most rewarding part for sure.”

Karl Mlynarczyk, General Manager at Button House, added: “The Craft & Chat classes are proving a real hit here with residents and those living in and around Hackbridge too. Everyone is welcome and the classes are becoming more popular each week. Carole is such an inspiring artist, and we all look forward to her visits – her post-box hats make everyone smile. I’ve done the walk myself and my son loved seeing the different colourful creations – plus it’s a fabulous summer-holiday activity which doesn’t cost a penny!”

The closest post-box hat to Button House is located on Nightingale Road – but there’s no set route, the map clearly shows the hat locations and walkers can decide on their own route to take. Post-box hat hunters can take a direct route to each hat or enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the local area including the River Wandle, Carshalton Park and the Hackbridge Community Garden – all accessible while hunting the hats.

Carole concluded: “It’s been lovely for the Button House residents to take part in too, and we’ve one local gentleman who pops out each day to find a new hat! It’s a great talking point in the area and I’m thrilled they’ve made so many people so happy – they’ve already had hundreds of visitors and I hope to see more hat-hunters from now until September!”

More details and a map of the post-box hats can be found via Carole’s website here: https://www.creativecarole.com/thegreatwoollyhattrail2023 and via @creativecarole on social media.

For those keen to find out more about Button House, the team is hosting an August weekend-of-welcome on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August.

The development will be open for viewing from 11am – 3pm each day with no appointment necessary. The Button House team will also be on hand to discuss any questions, share information on the flexible purchase and rental options available, and explain more about the reserve-by-September packages worth up to £15,000*

Visitors are encouraged to bring friends and family to join them during their visit to share in the experience. In addition to stylish properties, an assisted living provision means that those living at Button House can benefit from Brio’s relationship with a trusted care provider – offering a discreet personalised care package if required.