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One of the many bizarre stories Astragal came across in the run up to Christmas was that of the Studio Egret West Christmas party, which, we are told, featured a 10-foot 'Christmas Crab'. Founding partner and former Alsop masterplanning guru David West explained there was no particular logic. 'We were just messing around and it kind of evolved, ' he said. This all seems a little odd until you realise that it was the same West who took one look at Barnsley and, with Alsop, told them to become a Tuscan hill town. Not sure which is more off-the-wall, to be honest.

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