Lollipop Be-Bop – Bristol, England - Atlas Obscura
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Bristol, England

Lollipop Be-Bop

A plaque claims this artwork outside a children's hospital was used in the 1998 Quidditch World Cup. 

This whimsical sculpture brings more than just a touch of colorful delight to ill hospital patients. If you believe the plaque next to it, it also comes with a bit of magic. 

Lollipop Be-Bop is a series of entwining colored hoops installed as an art installation outside Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in an attempt to make the hospital a more welcoming place for sick children. Inside the hospital, patients can light up the sculpture using a machine.

However, the artwork also has a more poignant story, one brightened by a sense of enchantment. In 2014, a plaque mysteriously appeared beside the installation. It reads: “Dedicated to the children of Bristol, the 1998 Quidditch World Cup posts, enchanted by Abdou Sosseh. Have a magical day!”

Quidditch is a fictional sport in the Harry Potter series, involving broomsticks and large hoops—hoops that happen to be similar to those seen in Lollipop Be-Bop. The Abdou Sosseh mentioned in the plaque was the captain of Senegal’s Quidditch team, which was defeated in the 1998 World Cup by Malawi.

But as it turns out, the person behind the plaque was no witch or wizard. Though hospital staff and locals alike were originally unable to explain the origin of the plaque, it was later discovered that it was placed there by joker Cormac Seachoy, who crowdfunded the prank. He wanted to bring the hospital patients a bit of joy by pretending the hoops were indeed magical and had been donated by members of the wizarding world. Though Seachoy passed away in 2015 from cancer, the plaque remains as a small memorial to him.

Know Before You Go

When facing the installation from the road, the plaque is halfway down the steps on the right.

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