AIBU to think that no town has a more bizarre landmark than the arse end of a shark stcking out of the roof of a semi?

(111 Posts)

...Because seriously, I can't imagine what it might be.

Was directed to this recently and have been goggling ever since.

Personally I'm not sure it can be beaten.

"Excuse me, but which way to the bus stop?"
"Oh it's just down there, turn right at the house with the shark arse sticking out of it and it's just on your left"

Tee2072 Wed 01-May-13 08:53:42

Well, Belfast does have A Big Fish but it doesn't stick out of a semi.

I think I'm disappointed...

McKayz Wed 01-May-13 08:56:39

Whitby has a polar bear on top of Holland and Barretts here

But no not as wierd as a shark sticking out of a house.

Fairylea Wed 01-May-13 09:00:55
dexter73 Wed 01-May-13 09:01:34

That shark in Oxford is brilliant. My brother used to live in the next road and I used it to remember where he lived!

Tee2072 Wed 01-May-13 09:02:21

OMG a giant marlin on a roof!

Closing in on the shark...

GoblinGranny Wed 01-May-13 09:05:34

I lived opposite the Penultimate Picture Palace when I was a student. Somehow student life seemed more exciting back then, DD's experience is quite different.

ElleMcFearsome Wed 01-May-13 09:09:24

Umm... It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki Really???

MmeLindor Wed 01-May-13 09:17:10

We have the Worst Poem in The World carved into our pavement in Dundee, but think the shark is hard to beat.

I am willing to rise to the challenge though, and find a more bizarre one.

We've got a Virgin Mary with Ave Maria in blue neon across the archof the little grotto. V interesting at Christmas as it is right beside the village Christmas tree (combination of lights).

AJBthesecond Wed 01-May-13 09:25:47

Just up the road from said shark is a fish and chip shop with quite a big fish (about 5 foot) above the door. A large group if Japanese tourists had stopped and were taking photos there the other day. I politely directed them to the original!

Noseynoonoo Wed 01-May-13 09:28:19

I remember when the shark went up - what a furore, and I always loved the big hands of the penultimate picture palace.

I think having life-sized Dinosaurs in the park is pretty impressive. I was walking my children back from the childminders and they said that they had been playing with Dinosaurs. In my mind these Dinosaurs were plastic toys that would fit in their hand. Then they corrected me and said they were real ones, massive ones. Hmmm, really? hmm

Imagine my surprise then when I came across life-size dinosaurs in the park: HERE. To be fair, I was new to the area.

Fenton Wed 01-May-13 09:31:04

Giant Cock on a roundabout

It even has its own FaceBook page.


They used to have a life sized T-Rex in the grounds of Glasgow university. I think it's tail got broken from students swinging on it/trying to ride it.

MmeL: that poem is atrocious.

DeWe Wed 01-May-13 09:35:16

Always amused me when I drove past it.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 01-May-13 09:38:35

I always loved the wicker man that used to sit next to the M6

I remember the dinosaurs from when I was a child, good to know they are still there!

HeathRobinson Wed 01-May-13 09:42:14

Ha, I remember going to see the shark when I worked in Oxford. Good to see it again.

FeckOffCup Wed 01-May-13 09:43:49

There were proposals to have statues of Wallace and Gromit placed at the entrance to our city, they went by the wayside, sadly. I think they would have made a cracking landmark.

We did get a statue of a man that looked like he was pissing in the canal, he's gone now, the rust killed him. sad

CPtart Wed 01-May-13 09:50:23

Binky, I'm in your city too! Didn't realise the pissing man was gone.

IsaacCox Wed 01-May-13 09:53:48

I used to love seeing that shark when visiting family in Oxford.

CPtart, I know the pissing man disappeared because of the rust, I don't know if he's back, I will have to go and look. We don't do landmarks very well do we.

mouseymummy Wed 01-May-13 09:56:08

The only thing that the town I was born in has is the first ever gibbet...


Not really on a par with the shark....

mouseymummy Wed 01-May-13 09:57:22
CPtart Wed 01-May-13 09:59:34

No. My DS class had to make a model of a well known landmark for guild year and all they could come up with was variations of Deepdale fc, the Harris museum, the cenotaph and Bruciani's cafe!!

twofingerstoGideon Wed 01-May-13 10:00:59

You forgot the obelisk grin

MmeLindor Wed 01-May-13 10:04:35

It is so wonderfully awful. We Dundonians have great affection for it.

Yes, it is over by the railway bridge - fairly recent I think. It is actually brilliant as you can walk along with the kids, and recite the poem together. It is great to read with kids because of the dramatic repeated lines, '... that shall be remembered for a VERY LONG TIME!'

Trying to decide whether to list the kate and Wills trail

floatyfloni Wed 01-May-13 10:20:12

I live in a naff little place and we have giant bog roll on the roundabout into the town. Its meant to be a sail but it really is just a huuuuge metal bog roll, that cost a ridiculous amount of money. 'Welcome to floatyfloni's town, come wipe your arse's on us!'

Blatherskite Wed 01-May-13 10:33:25

Milton Keynes has a whole herd of life-sized concrete cows. They're not even good concrete cows, they look like they were made by a 4 year old out of playdough!

What's worse is, they've made copies so that the real cows can be kept safe while the replicas live in a field by KFC and also pop up simultaneously at the stadium and gathered around a dead tree in the middle of the shopping centre. The KFC cows were "graffiti-ed" recently and painted to look like skeletons. The Parks Trust were outraged and called the police and made a hoo-hah about how much it was going to cost to "restore" them until they realised that everyone actually liked them better like that so agreed to leave the re-paint until after halloween. They even contacted the artist who made the originals to ask for permission to leave them. They're still skeletons now!

There's also currently a street light growing through the centre of a caravan outside the gallery at the moment, but that's only temporary.

Parked next to it this morning en route to my early morning coffee mission!

Jonquille Wed 01-May-13 10:36:28

That shark had me laughing!

Here in London borough of Richmond, the council resides besides the Naked ladies! The place is York House and Gardens. 17th century historical place. And all locals just call the gardens, simply "Naked Ladies"

The other one I can think of is the much debated Petersham meadows COWS.

They were/are grazing there for more then 400 years and when recently they were due to be removed, it caused a huge hoax. And now saved by National Trust and are still grazing on a the banks of the river Thames.

I will have to find the houses of celebs who like our local.

Any more ideas for London borough of Richmond upon Thames?

As someone's mentioned it also has a little brother on top of Posh Fish. A load of NIMBYs got upset about it being unreasonable advertising until it was pointed out that the chippy doesn't serve shark grin

MmeLindor Wed 01-May-13 10:38:38

That is just a grotty caravan. I am going all 'I know art, when I see it!' on that one

Blatherskite Wed 01-May-13 10:42:07

It has a lamp post through the middle I promise. For some reason, I can't seem to find a picture that shows the whole thing...

Blatherskite Wed 01-May-13 10:47:13

I thought the huge mouth they painted on the gallery was better than the caravan anyway.

Oldraver Wed 01-May-13 10:53:36

All the times I've been to Milton Keynes and I have never seen the flipping cows.

I think I'll take DS to see the shark as he is mad on them.

FossilMum Wed 01-May-13 11:04:32

Thank you so much for that; it made my day!

I LOVE the 'explanation'. Quite bizarrely, yesterday I was working on an experimental short story that included both a rain of fish and Chernobyl.

And to think I'd previously though Milton Keynes' concrete cows were the hottest landmark around…

Blatherskite Wed 01-May-13 11:07:30

They are fairly well hidden Oldraver. You'd think they'd put them on a roundabout on a major road not hidden behind KFC - except that they really are crap so it's probably best leaving people to imagine lovely concrete cows than to ruin the illusion by seeing the real things.

There's also an enormous dinosaur. They run a competition every year for a child to design a new paint scheme.

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Wed 01-May-13 11:14:44

Not where I'm from, but not too far away, the town of nairn boasts the arse end of an old mini sticking out of a building one floor up. Very apt since we refer to nairn as the fastest town in scotland (we say it quick and high so it sounds like a racing car, admittedly it's a somewhat better joke spoken rather than written).

meglet Wed 01-May-13 11:25:03

We have the 'Wote Street Willy' in Basingstoke (on phone so can't do links).

I'd love to have been listening to that council meeting where they gave the green light to a 7ft stone dildo in the shopping centre hmm.

We also have a funny little roundabout with lots of red metal people waving their hands in the air, something to do with the business park next door I assume.

Flatiron Wed 01-May-13 11:29:21

D'you need planning permission for a shark on your roof?

ouryve Wed 01-May-13 11:29:47

Surely that can't be structurally sound? It even knocks the spots off this monstrosity in the centre of Gateshead:

Blatherskite Wed 01-May-13 11:29:52

There's a very odd statue of a man admiring a single sock he's wearing in Loughborough...

MmeLindor Wed 01-May-13 11:35:16

Blimey, Meglet, it really is a willy

SorrelForbes Wed 01-May-13 11:35:59

We've got a giant prawn

dexter My sister used to live in that road, and now lives in the next road!

I think the Mannequin Pis (sp?) is the strangest landmark in a capital city.

Well done Fenton - made me look!

In the city centre of Dublin we used to have a very elegant not reclining statue which was affectionately known as "The Floozy in the Jacuzzi"

We also have other statues dotted around the capital with equally appealing names
More info here

dexter73 Wed 01-May-13 11:51:51

TravelinColour - not Lime Walk is it?

But why does the willy have a man inside it? <baffled>

Oh yes - and we love the truly arty reasons given for the shark, too. <snort>

BrittaPie Wed 01-May-13 12:02:25

Preston people!

Help us out - we are meant to have landmarks on Mumsnet Preston, but we are having a bit of trouble... Does the bus station count?

Mumsnet Preston

I think the Floozy was also known as the Slapper in the Crapper (as the fountain she floated in was alway full of rubbish)

The Hags with the Bags are still down Liffey Street afaik.

Oh, and when we had a Millenium Clock in the Liffey River, counting down to the year 2000, it was known as the Time in the Slime.

seeker Wed 01-May-13 12:23:21

OP- have you been to Cerne Abbas? grin

ZZZenagain Wed 01-May-13 12:26:46

quite like the nose diving shark

I had forgotten about the clock in the river. I mean who puts a clock in a not-so-clean river and expects it to work??? Ah yes. the Irish! LOL!!!

BrittaPie Wed 01-May-13 12:43:13
Limelight Wed 01-May-13 12:48:05

We have the Catford Cat in Southeast London:

The designers of Catford town centre were clearly nothing if not literal.

I wager that it is the most shockingly massive weird looking plastic cat in the world!

seeker Wed 01-May-13 12:49:46

Whenever we drive past that cat somebody has to say "anyone fancy an evening at Catford dogs?"

Oh how we laugh.....

Seeker - nope. Is it worth a visit?

Flosshilde Wed 01-May-13 13:12:43

Planning permission was indeed required for the shark and it actually has it's own section (entitled 'The Shark Case' grin) in one of the most commonly used reference works for planners. Written with a dry sense of humour as well.

I'm always amazed by the amount of people that haven't noticed the Kings Cross Lighthouse. Not as good as the shark though!

christmasmum Wed 01-May-13 13:27:03

I live by a really bizarre one in scotland. I have no idea what it is but if you google 'dollar Clackmannanshire topiary' and do an image search you'll find something which can only be described as hitler topiary which sits on top of a hedge in a really posh little scottish town. Have NEVER understood it.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 01-May-13 13:32:00

Hungerford had an 18ft penis drawing on a roof. Sadly it wasn't visible from the ground, but Google Earth got some good shots.

Big cock

grin at the Dundee poem. Chester-le-Street has a really shit one carved into black granite in the main square, all about coal as 'black gold'. No irony there, then.

'9 O'clock, Sock!' always makes me think of (bad) clubbing as a teen.

Oxford also has this:,_Oxford_-_dinosaurs.JPG

What makes it special is it's been re-chalked in religiously for, oh, I dunno, upwards of forty years now?!

MmeLindor Wed 01-May-13 14:26:25

Hitler topiary is excellent. Thanks for that one.

Lizzids Wed 01-May-13 15:00:05

Fenton I live near that cock. It gets seasonal decorations as well - a santa hat & beard for Christmas, Easter bonnet etc.

I also used to live near this building. Sad thing is it used to be a lovely house with a fountain in the garden. Oh well, takes all sorts...

Preston bus station is a landmark, it actually was placed on the presigous world monument list, alongside the Nazca lines in Peru and a cemetary in greece (according to the daily fail anyway)

What preston also has is this who ever designed them needs shooting.

seeker Wed 01-May-13 15:43:50

If you haven't already, google images Cerne Abbas. You can see the giant from the town.

BrittaPie Wed 01-May-13 15:47:53

I quite like the martyrs, although it is alarming how many of my friends hadn't noticed it was:
A) some people
B) getting shot

DystopianReality Wed 01-May-13 15:53:30

I lived in N0.50 New High Street, same street in the 90's. I walked past it every single day and loved the eccentricity.

Britta, The matyrs look like lumps of rock with faces, and why, when there were 4 shot, are there only 3 shown? I'm sure they could have come up with something a little bit more appealing if they had thought about it.

DystopianReality Wed 01-May-13 15:54:07

I now live near Cerne Abbas!

Is that one of those cow parade cows on the balcony of that house, lizzids? It's a pretty crap one if it is.

anythingforaquietnight Wed 01-May-13 16:01:28

twofingerstoGideon I think those legs came from the Not The Moulin Rouge cinema in Oxford. It was opposite the Shark house and owned by Bill Heine, who was responsible for both, and The Penultimate Picture Palace in East Oxford. I grew up round the corner from the Shark - it all seemed so normal! I went back recently. The cinema has been knocked down and replaced with some bland housing, but was glad to see the Shark still there.

gordyslovesheep Wed 01-May-13 16:09:08

Liverpool's super lamb banana takes some beating

DystopianReality Wed 01-May-13 16:14:25

Yes Any that's right, the legs belonged to Not The Moulin Rouge cinema opposite the shark. We used to go there in the 90's and be served coffee in cups and saucers, homemade brownies and sit by a calor gas stove to watch the film. None of your Cineworld popcorn.

x2boys Wed 01-May-13 16:27:33

have you never been to ramsbottom there is a giant urn on its side outside a hotel no idea why!

Lizzids Wed 01-May-13 17:42:16

I believe so AU, although I was baffled at first. The cow has been there since the building was finished, but the astronaut is a new(ish) addition.

Well, in Bexley we've got the Fish Roundabout and a Cob Horse Roundabout

thebody Wed 01-May-13 17:46:08

Fenton, unfair as I looked and hoped to see a different cock!!! Lol

The bull outside selfridges in bham is quite nice!

gordyslovesheep Wed 01-May-13 17:47:52
thebeastandbeauty Wed 01-May-13 17:48:38

Oh, I know Bill Heine.

I have been inside the shark house.

Do I win MN crap claims to fame?

LulaPalooza Wed 01-May-13 18:04:50

I grew up in Oxford and remember the shark going up as well as the PPP and NTMR cinemas. Glad to hear the shark is still there.

gordy I was going to mention the superlambanana too. Is it still there? Also the sculpture Turning The Place Over in Liverpool was pretty awesome.

Ilfracombe has Verity she's quite odd.

coorong Wed 01-May-13 18:51:36

You want big stuff - check out the ridiculous things in australia

can't decide between the Big Mosquito

or the Big Galah

Jestrin Wed 01-May-13 19:07:22

The ugliest fountain in the world....I give you, the shelley fountain. And when the water gushes out it sounds like a toilet flushing. It looks like an unfinished student project and resembles a Cornish pasty...

Fakebook Wed 01-May-13 19:26:28

I remember when the shark went up! Everyone in headington went mad and my Mum told me the shark flew out of the sea and landed on the house. We went and saw it and there were crowds outside the house and I cried because I was scared of sharks, because of the Jaws films. Ah, the good old days! I also remember the cinema with the hands and feet with black and white stockings, but I can't remember where in Oxford that was...

I don't like Bill Heine. He always walks around with a smug smile like he's so brilliant.

Fakebook Wed 01-May-13 19:28:36

Oh right just read previous posts, so the hands and feet were opposite the shark. I thought it was in Cowley for some reason.

leftangle Wed 01-May-13 19:55:17

The hands were in Cowley, the legs were opposite the shark. Good to hear they still exist somewhere.

Metarie Wed 01-May-13 20:01:41

We have a mirror directly opposite a mirrored building. If the sun even considers shining, you'll see spots for days.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Wed 01-May-13 20:11:03

In Vulcan, Alberta you will find this

Filibear Wed 01-May-13 20:47:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BrittaPie Wed 01-May-13 20:58:29

Binky - there is a prototype in the "story of Preston" in the Harris, with 4 martyrs, but I don't know why it was changed...

smegley Wed 01-May-13 21:05:27

there is a concrete hippo in my town centre!
its been the local meeting point for years

MiaowTheCat Wed 01-May-13 21:23:57

Darlington's brick train which I always quite liked when I passed it.

Think the best we have round here is the concrete ram in Derby, or when they put the statue of Robin Hood in a nice little wooden shed for his own safety when they were expecting it all to kick off in the city centre with a couple of opposing groups choosing to march and protest all on the same day.

Metarie Wed 01-May-13 21:54:55

Nottingham castle has a wooden door set into the rock leading to the castle.

RainbowsFriend Wed 01-May-13 22:24:18

There's this in Cheltenham. Rather freaky and a bit scary right in the main shopping area....

racingheart Wed 01-May-13 22:28:16

Doesn't Milton Keynes have concrete cows? Or am I imagining them?

blackice Wed 01-May-13 22:36:43

I give you the world's largest smoking pipe, in St Claude, Manitoba


or maybe a giant sausage...


or even the world's largest oil can...

Oil Can

I could go on... grin

FairPhyllis Thu 02-May-13 04:25:43

I knew this was going to be about the Headington shark. A friend used to live in that street. I love it. What sort of country would we be if a man can't put a shark in his own roof?

Only other similar landmark type thing I can think of is the Black Cat at the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire, which was stolen (the cat, not the roundabout). They've replaced it now though.

Oh, there was also a very silly fountain at Roker seafront in Sunderland that looked exactly like a chimney sweep's brush sticking up from a chimney. Problem was, the brush was so tall the water pressure wasn't powerful enough to actually get water up through it, so it just sat not working for years and years.

MidniteScribbler Thu 02-May-13 04:41:07

*You want big stuff - check out the ridiculous things in australia*

Yes we do love our big things in Australia. It's quite the challenge to mark as many off your to do list as possible. Some of my favourites are the Big Oyster (now converted to a car yard) and the Big Pineapple (which you can go to the top of). The Big Prawn was a good place to stop for fuel.

And you can't forget the big anatomically correct bull at the entrance to Rockhampton. Poor bull is on about his twentieth set of testicles, as people keep stealing them. No sooner are they replaced than he gets castrated in the night.

vvviola Thu 02-May-13 04:56:02

I love the random things we get here in NZ - including the giant corrugated iron sheep & dog (which are actually a shop and a tourist office), & a town with a giant carrot in the middle of it

robino Thu 02-May-13 05:36:37

I offer up the Beer Can House. I'm not entirely sure it's weirder than the shark but it's taken a hell of a lot longer and a lot more cirrhosis of the liver

The Silica known locally as the Carrot an attempt to make my home town more attractive hmm. It has a kiosk and a bus shelter in the bottom so at least it is useful I suppose.

Near where I am now we have the Wave

And while looking for that I found the other Newport Wave

PaulInHolland Thu 02-May-13 06:54:27

and Rotterdam has this:

PaulInHolland Thu 02-May-13 07:19:07

this is a statue in the centre of the city of santa claus with an enormous sex toy in his hand.

MmeLindor Thu 02-May-13 10:05:12

yes, someone posted a link to the MK cows

I am offering a secret bunker, but I am not allowed to tell you where it is


Blatherskite Thu 02-May-13 10:32:00

There are 3 poems on the sides of buildings in Sheffield. This one is outside the station. I think it looks beautiful in the sunset

ouryve Thu 02-May-13 12:47:46

There's a pit pony on a roundabout near where we live, Peppermint - someone yarnbombed it, on Monday grin

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