A FEW weeks ago in Bygones we featured a mystery which had been puzzling residents in Oswaldtwistle for the past 15 years.

Overnight a giant Ossywood sign appeared in a farmer’s field in Stanhill which was thought to be a reaction to plans to put up a Hollywood-style Accrington sign on the Coppice as part of East Lancashire’s Panopticons public art scheme.

The giant white letters dominated the countryside but no-one claimed responsibility for it - until now.

Step forward David Scott, his brother Stuart, Stephen Hall, Stephen Fielding and Michael Thompson.

“I can confirm that it was us,” said David. “We were in Tenerife on a bit of boys’ holiday when we heard about the plan to have the Accrington sign. It set us thinking and I think I came up with the name Ossywood.

“When we got back Stephen Fielding was the artistic one, so he drew out the letters and Michael - who everyone knows as Taki - was the practical one and he cut them out.”

The sign was put up off Stanhill Road but David revealed another site was considered.

“We did wonder about putting it up just past what was then the Britannia crossroads on the way into Oswaldtwistle from Blackburn,” he said.

The letters were put up around one in the morning by David, Stuart, Stephen Hall and Taki.

“Stephen Fielding had bad knees so he couldn’t come with us,” said David. “We had to duck down behind a wall every time we saw some headlights approaching and I don’t think anyone saw us.”

The mission was carefully planned.

“We were just going to bash the letters into the ground with a sledgehammer,” said David, “but that would have made too much noise. So we fitted a batten behind each letter with a spike on the bottom so we could just push them in.”

David, 54, now lives in Clitheroe but lived on White Ash Lane, Oswaldtwistle, at the time.

“It was just a bit of a laugh really,” he said, “and it made a good few people smile.

“I know at least one lad who has an Ossywood tattoo which was inspired by the sign.

“The letters were up there for about a fortnight before they got taken down. There’s a rumour that a farmer still has them but I’m not sure about that.

“There was a lot of speculation about who had done it and I think that quite a few people in Ossy suspected we might have been involved but we never said anything.

“When the picture appeared in the Telegraph a few weeks ago, we thought it was time to come clean.”

David and his pals were regulars at the Black Dog and back on home turf they hatched another plan to put Ossywood on the map which never quite saw the light of day.

“At the time the Hyndburn Transport buses used to stop outside the pub. We had all these transfers made saying Ossywood and the plan was the run out behind the bus when it stopped and stick them over the Hyndburn sign,” he said. “But it was either raining or we’d forget the transfers when we went to the pub so that one never happened, which is perhaps a good job really.”