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Sherlock Wenlock: The story behind the Mascot * 19 August 2012

Sherlock Wenlock 1

If you happened to be in London from mid July 2012 then we've no doubt you would have (at some point) stumbled across some rather unusual looking statues situated close to some of Londons top landmarks. 83 six-foot high sculptures of Olympic mascot Wenlock and Paralympic mascot Madeville were introduced as part of a programme of attractions in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic games which began on 27th July.

One of these Olympic mascots in particular caught our eye, Sherlock Wenlock. Having visited him a few times at his Regent's Park location close to the Baker Street entrance we decided to do some investigation of our own and find out the story behind this particular mascot.

Sherlock Wenlock was hand-painted by the extremely talented duo Fiona and Neil Osborne from We got in touch with them to find out more....

How did you get to paint Sherlock Wenlock?
We were given a huge list of themes to choose to design for and our number one, first choice was Sherlock - not daring to think that we might actually get it. YES!

How did you come up with the design?
It was totally left up to us how to design him, we just needed approval from LOCOG before we started. We had both read a lot of Conan Doyle and were fans of all the different TV adaptations and films. The BBC Sherlock is ace and so well written and performed, I love it.

What research did you do?
Whist he was being painted we played a couple of Sherlock Holmes audio books for added atmosphere. Research included; Harris tweed, scanning the stories for descriptions, Sherlock fancy dress costumes (to see the most common conception), watching Jeremy Brett (one of his episodes was filmed in our village), Victorian objects etc...

Who's idea was it to include all the little hidden extras and how did you decide what they would be?
Painting onto a Wenlock shape is really difficult so the design was limited to what would work. We came up with the idea of pockets to put all the details into - otherwise there would just be clothes. The tiepin, watch and cufflinks are the other elements we managed to add.

What was he painted with?
We used emulsion - as we do on the murals, finished in a car lacquer.  

Did you create any of the other Mascots besides Sherlock Wenlock?
Novel Wenlock (Oscar Wilde), Dickens Wenlock, Spice Wenlock and Chinatown Mandeville.  

As mentioned above Sherlock Wenlock contains many hidden references to the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Did you manage to spot them all? We've the full list from Fiona and Neil below with photos.

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1. Buttons on the waistcoat contain Morse Code characters for Holmes' address: 221b
2. Pocket Watch & Lion's Mane Jellyfish fob (The 'killer' in The Lion's Mane)
3. A blue precious stone cufflink as described in The Blue Carbuncle
4. A black pearl cufflink as described in The Six Napoleons
5. Emerald Tie-pin mentioned in The Bruce-Partington Plans and hinted as a gift from Queen Victoria (V.R.)

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6. Set of Skeleton Keys
7. A jemmy/small crowbar
8. A pipe, based more on the films as the books describe a smaller type
9. A scarlet Moss Rose: A Study in Scarlet being the first story to introduce Sherlock Holmes. In The Naval Treaty Holmes breaks character somewhat whist admiring the Moss Rose, a scene wonderfully played by Jeremy Brett in 1984.
10. Magnifying glass
11. Notebook
12. Map
13. Pen (of the same type used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) with initials C.D

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Sherlock Wenlock will be on show in Regent's Park near the Baker Street entrance until 9th September if you wish to visit him. All the Olympic mascots are being auctioned off after the Olympics with Sherlock Wenlock already being sold for £6,520 on 15th August 2012.


If you would like more information about Neil and Fiona and One Red Shoe you can visit their website, follow them on Facebook or watch videos on their YouTube channel.