THERE'S no doubt Her Majesty's mailbag will have been bulging this year, as thousands of her subjects have sent good wishes in the form of letters, cards and gifts in her Diamond Jubilee year.
But we're willing to bet she's only had one Tipton Slasher. When the staff and users of Tipton Library, just off Owen Street, decided to send a parcel to Buckingham Palace, they drew up a list of items they wanted to include, and the Knit and Natter Group who meet there once a week came up with the wholly original idea of knitting a tiny wollen representation of local legend William Perry. It was sent to the palace along with the winning entry from the children's plate decorating competition, a set of Tipton Slasher postcards, a piece of knitted bunting and an original piece of Fred Barnfield's art.
Then, just over a week ago, all involved were delighted to receive a letter from the Queen's Lady in Waiting, Lady Elton, addressed to library manager Robert Hazel. It reads: "Dear Mr Hazel, "The Queen wishes me to write and thank you, and everyone at Tipton Library, for your letter enclosing a card with messages of congratulations for Her Majesty on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
"The Queen was very touched by your kind thought in sending her some souvenirs of Tipton, the winning design in the plate decorating competition held at the library, and a little figure of William Perry, created by the Knit and Natter Group. These gifts have given Her Majesty much pleasure.
"The Queen wishes me to send her best wishes to everyone at Tipton Library and I am to thank you again for your message of good wishes to Her Majesty in this, her Diamond Jubilee year.
"Yours sincerely Richenda Elton Lady-in-Waiting" Knit and Natter member Janine Fletcher also knitted a larger woollen Slasher to keep at the library, and is pictured here with it, alongside fellow member Joan Keeling, in front of the library's portrait of William Perry himself.