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13 November 2014

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You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > Travel > Features > The Black Cat returns!

The Black Cat Roundabout 2008

The Black Cat returns!

The Black Cat returns!

Back in 2007, mystery surrounded the disappearance of the famous Black Cat on the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire. No-one knows for sure where the metal moggy went, but the good news is it's back!

Over the years the black cat, familiar to thousands of motorists as they travel on the Bedfordshire stretch of the A1, has been dressed with scarves, hats and even been painted different colours.

When the A421 Bedford southern bypass was opened a new version of the cat was installed on the roundabout. But over the summer of 2007 it disappeared, leaving just the two metal spikes on which it was standing.

Jack Pike made the original Black Cat, and has been instrumental in making sure that the famous landmark hasn't strayed for good.

The Black Cat Junction of the Bedford Road with the A1 in 1920. Courtesy of W Stapleton's book "Recollections"

The Black Cat Junction in 1920

Jack told the BBC:

"The design of the new cat is exactly the same as before, the design was from the original black cat painted on the side of the junction of the Bedford Road with the A1 back in the 1920's."

This time, the Highways Agency agreed to make a few changes to the design. The new cat is now sited in the middle of the roundabout and secondly, the 2008 black cat is much bigger than previous moggies, standing around 3 metres tall. 

So will this prevent the black cat going astray again?

The Black Cat Roundabout

The 'bigger' 2008 Black Cat

"Hopefully, the new cat is much less likely to disappear from the roundabout.  It's certainly too big now for one person to be able to carry it away and it's obviously situated on a very busy road as well" explained Jack.

Local residents will also be doing their best to make sure the cat stays put this time…

"We will be keeping an eye on it and try our best to make sure that this cat stays on the roundabout" said Jack.

Jack summed it up perfectly when he told us:

"It’s known to everyone as the Black Cat Roundabout – and so it needs a black cat on it!

last updated: 15/08/2008 at 09:39
created: 12/08/2008

Have Your Say

Are you pleased to see the Black Cat back?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

dinah alner
yes am pleased to see this cat back, i look for it all the time, as been there for many years

mike bartle
The Black Cat is one of those road land marks that we truck drivers look out for . On the long haul down from Scotland to London we know its not too far now . Nice to see it back again in it rightfull place .

Robyn & Lucy Masterson
We are allways asking our mum & dad about how the name of the roundabout came about - we really like the black cat !! (How about some little black kittens?)

Alison Hills
I am so pleased the black cat is back on the roundabout. I regularly travel up & down the A1 visiting my parents, and it has always made me smile when i see the black cat. I have noticed that it has not been present for ages and wondered if something had happened to it, and because I was so delighted to see it again today, I decided to look on the internet to see if there was a mention of it and was firstly delighted to see that the blackcat has her own website, but not unduly surprised to see that the previous one had been stolen. Hopefully this black cat is here to stay and will continue to brighton the journey of motorists up and down the A1!

Topgunner
A very special THANK YOU to Jack and everybody who helped get this landmark back. Thanks for all the local TV and Radio reports to highlight the matter.Now the Black Cat can watch over everybody and have a safe journey.

Peter Mossman
So pleased to see this feline back on his spot

Chris Matthews
Local initiatives like this warm the cockles of your heart.

Trevor Jefferies
I used to go with my uncle on our tractor to get fuel late 1940s Its good to see some things dont change,keep the cat and the name for ever.

Mrs Angela Pearce
Great News. How dare this Large Black Cat wonder off and not return. Maybe a few Kittens will appear next!!

Muriel Robinson
So pleased it is back where it belongs, and has saddly been missed by all travellers on the A1. Long may it remain there.

Janine Edwards
I noticed the black cat was back at 0600 hours this morning and had a little smile on my face (which is unusual for that time of the morning - apart for when Jack Kirkland is on!)It's a bit like having an old friend back.

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