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Scarecrow Votes Are In!

by Fran Flaxton – 22nd June 2022
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the very brave lionpeppas royal partymad hatters jubilee

Results and Feedback from the 2021 Haddenham Scarecrow Festival

The 2020 and 2021 Scarecrow Festivals held in lockdowns broke all records, exceeded all possible expectations and set the bar high! How could we follow that in a "normal" year when everyone is busy and there are so many other activities and events in our village?

But the people of Haddenham took up the challenge once again. Well done to all those who collectively created another fantastic show of creativity for our 7th annual event....we wouldn't have a Festival without you!

There were 75 official entries, plus around half a dozen "extras", so that's over 80 displays in total. The Festival has never been run as a competition, and every single entry was valued, created with care, humour and community spirit. Thank you to everyone for taking part – each creator will receive a Certificate of Participation.

We are very grateful for the donations made in aid of Bucks Mind so far and I'm confident that the Festival will achieve our 2022 fundraising goal of £1000. We'll continue to welcome donations for another week until 26th June and will announce the total raised in early July.

Please donate in cash or cheque payable to Buckinghamshire Mind, delivered to 7 Dovecote, Haddenham or online if you have not yet had an opportunity to do so:

Although not organised as a competition, people were invited to vote for their 3 favourites. The votes have been scrupulously counted and verified. The three most popular scarecrows have each received Afternoon Tea for Two vouchers generously donated by Haddenham Garden Centre:

1st Favourite – No 50 'The Very Brave Lion' by The Thompsons

Rhiana and Gary Thompson decided to enter this year's Scarecrow Festival in memory of their son, Rory, who they heartbreakingly lost to a brain tumour in November 2021 at just 13 months. 

As Rhiana explained "The Very Brave Lion was Rory's favourite book that we used to read together every night. He was such a happy boy despite all the treatment he was going though and used to love practising his 'roar' – he really was our very own brave lion! We've never entered before, but wanted to make the scarecrow in his memory and hope we've done him proud!". 

Rhiana says she was very grateful to her friend Nadine, who provided the hay bales and helped to construct the scarecrow lion. His face was made from a wooden base, covered with a hanging basket liner, felt features and plenty of long grasses from local hedgerows to create his mane. I'm sure everyone will agree that the Very Brave Lion is a truly worthy winner and a wonderful tribute to brave little Rory.

2nd Favourite – No 44 'Peppa's Royal Party' by Stephanie Moore

This is the 5th year that Stephanie has entered the Scarecrow Festival and always creates displays for each of her grandchildren. This year is was her granddaughter, Indie's turn, who loves Peppa Pig. Indie has a book called "Pepper's Royal Party", so the scarecrows represent the story and characters in this book.

Stephanie said "I already have an idea about what I'm going to make for next year's Scarecrow Festival!"

3rd Favourite – No 33 'The Mad Hatter's Tea Party' by Pam Harding

The inspiration for Pam's display came from her daughter's "Mad Hatter themed hen night! Pam put a great deal of thought and detail into her entry and she very much enjoyed watching people's faces as they stopped outside to take a look.

Pam said "I loved to see people smiling as they spotted a detail they hadn't seen before. As well as creating something for people to enjoy, I like to help raise money for good causes and I was very pleased to support the Bucks Mind mental health charity".

Including the three above, the 10 entries that received the most votes were:

4. The Pursuit of Grouchiness by The Reemans
5. Under the Sea by the Residents of Fern Lane
6. Her Rail Highness by the Wylam Family
7. Woody's Roundup by the Lees
8. (Joint) Roger the Royal Guard by Domestic Services and What's Retirement? By the Pybus Family
9. (Joint) It's Reigning Cats and Dogs by the Roberts Family and Florence drops in for Tea by the Haddenham Florence Nightingale Group
10. (Joint) Afternoon Tea by Cherry Waller, Her Majesty's Corgi Walker by Haddenham Medical Centre, Royal Bean by the Watsons and the Royowl at Cotts Field by Stephanie

Other popular entries receiving multiple votes were: Bready Mercury at the Cottage Bakery, Veggie Beefeater by Beth Knighton, Captain Hook by the Ackroyds, Wakey-Wakey by Haddenham Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Where's the Scarecrow? by Shona, Richard, Charlie, United we Stand/Welly Dog by the Flaxtons & Ukrainian guests Ash and Yuliia.

You can remind yourself what any of these scarecrows looked like here
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This Scarecrow Festival was initiated by the Haddenham Association of Scouts and Guides in 2016, initially as a fundraising community event, but also to raise the profile of Scouting and Guiding in the village. We are delighted that all the children's units are now back up and running after lockdowns and leader shortages.

On behalf of the Scout and Guide Association, I would like to say a special thank you to:

Everyone who donated to our cause. We're continuing to welcome donations until 26th June.

Alan Rose at Haddenham Museum for allowing me to splat dots all over the map he updated for the Haddenham Museum Trust

Keith Milmer at Haddenham.net for all his help with promotion, making the map and list available online and assembling the Gallery of photos

Sally and team at Blooming Fruity, Helen at 70 Stanbridge Road, James at The Bakery, Karen at Flint Street for having Trail maps available on your premises and Kate at Haddenham Garden Centre for taking maps and donating prizes for the 3 Favourite Scarecrows

Sadly I need to say I was disappointed that a couple of the Scarecrows were tampered with or had accessories stolen. This fun event brings a lot of joy to the community and I sincerely hope the tiny minority who try to spoil things will feel ashamed of themselves and that this will not happen again.

On the positive side, here are some of the comments from residents and visitors:

"Lovely to see a selection of the many wonderful entrants in this year's event. Hard decision to pick out just three......well done to everybody involved in creating all the scarecrows and to the organisers" – C

"Thank you once again for your faithful work for this community activity, it is so lovely". LM

"All together, an amazing display of imagination, humour and handicraft.  A tribute to the entrants and the village".

"Thanks to everyone for all the work put in organising this lovely annual village event". AG

"Thanks again for running such a great scarecrow event! My family had so much fun as usual finding all the fantastic entries"! JR

"Thanks to everyone for all the work put in organising this lovely annual village event". H Family

What a wonderful village we live in – I'm so looking forward to next year already!

Francesca Flaxton
22 June 2022

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