HUNDREDS of bright-coloured paper boats of 'hope' grace several locations all over Abingdon to bring those passing by positivity during the coronavirus crisis.

The eye-catching flotillas with cheerful messages written on them were made by a group of enthusiastic locals who wanted them to emphasise some of the ideas and values that people could carry forwards into their lives after lockdown ends.

Over the last Spring bank holiday weekend, the Boats of Hope appeared in several locations around Abingdon.

However, it appears not everyone has enjoyed the imaginative designs.

The flotillas dangling in the wind installed at Albert Park, Abbey Meadows and Thames View Bridge have mysteriously been removed, and the only locations where boats still remain for the public are Abingdon Lock , Ock valley river and Peachcroft Park.

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One of the organisers Feng Ho and boat maker said: "These messages point out some lovely things we are starting to notice – some as the result of lockdown, others we might have ignored or forgotten about or simply not noticed in our rushed, preoccupied lives before Covid-19.

"The little boats encourage us to think about what is really important to us, to see that priorities can be different.

"We could learn from our Covid-19 experience.

"The Abingdon community has already begun this process with the successful establishment of the Abingdon Community Response Coronavirus group."

Passersby are also encouraged to make a little origami boat themselves, to write on them what they think might be a way forwards for the community and to tie their boat onto the ribbon alongside the rest of the flotillas.

The Abingdon residents behind this idea were inspired by the 'Boats of Hope' art installation that appeared alongside the Port Meadow bridge in Jericho earlier this month.

The creative designs were made by mother and daughter duo Anne and Alice Taylor, and their friend and Jericho neighbour Ines Smyth.

Talented boat maker Anne Taylor explained that they wanted to focus the community's attention towards the 'wonderful acts of kindness' during this pandemic.

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The resident added: "We should celebrate the community spirit and keep all the positive things coming out of this crisis, rather than 'return back to normal' and 'business as usual'."

Unlike the controversial reaction that the Abingdon flotillas received, the three women were praised for their work.

Anne Taylor said she spotted many passersby photographing the colourful boats and pausing their day to read the uplifting messages, with one woman even bursting into tears.

While the little boats have not been in Abingdon for too long, Ms Ho also confirmed many have had similar reactions.

She said: "I have noticed people slowing down to look at them whilst jogging or cycling, and many stopping to take a closer look.

"They have encouraged people to pause for a moment – something we all need during our busy lives."

Organisers said the installations are being monitored daily.