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Votes Have Been Counted!

by Haddenham Webteam – 3rd July 2024
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The Haddenham Scarecrow Festival has become a much-loved annual summer tradition, and this year was no exception. Residents, community groups and local businesses collectively created another fantastic display of creativity for our 9th annual event, many of them based on this year's theme of "Our Natural World".

There were over 80 entries, plus several "extras", which is the highest number since the record-breaking in the lockdown Festival of 2020. Some folk had the impression that there weren't so many this year, but they were spread out throughout the village including on all the new housing developments, which was lovely to see. Every single entry is valued, created with care, humour and community spirit. Thank you to everyone for taking part.

We are very grateful for the donations made so far in support of this year's chosen charities – Tiggywinkles and ReLEAF Tree planting scheme. We will continue to welcome donations for the next two weeks and will announce the total raised in mid-July. If you have not yet had an opportunity to do so, donations can be made in cash delivered to 7 Dovecote, HP17 8BP or online here

Although not organised as a competition, people are invited to vote for their three favourites. We received literally HUNDREDS of votes, which have been carefully counted and verified. The three most popular scarecrows have each received Afternoon Tea for Two vouchers donated by Haddenham Garden Centre, a Pair of Tickets to their Visitor Centre donated by Tiggywinkles and a Bottle of Prosecco donated by Harpers Estate Agents who sponsored the 2024 Map. Here are the results:

1st Favourite – 'Fireman Sam rescues Naughty Norman' by Stephanie Moore

This is the 7th year that Stephanie has entered the Scarecrow Festival, and she always creates displays for each of her grandchildren. This year she created her entry for their 5th grandchild, Henry aged 3, who chose his favourite character Fireman Sam. Says Stephanie "No Fireman Sam story is complete without Naughty Norman Price getting up to mischief. In our scene, Naughty Norman has gone out into the garden and lit a fire which Fireman Sam needs to put out. This was the closest we could get to the theme of 'Our Natural World'!! We hope all the children enjoyed seeing it."

2nd Favourite – 'Everyone's a Swiftie' by The Powells

Swiftie creator Gemma said "We wanted to do something that me and the kids loved – and we love Taylor Swift! We went to see her at Wembley, along with 86,000 other people, which was amazing. I read that Taylor Swift's Tour has boosted the UK economy by £1 billion!"

3rd Favourite – 'Flower Power' by Pam Harding

Pam always starts thinking about next year's Scarecrow display as soon as the last Festival has finished. "I look in my dressing up box and start to put ideas together, everything I display is made from items I have around the house or garden. As it turned out my 1960's Flower Power display fitted in perfectly with the Natural World theme, which I didn't know about when I started planning it".

Including the 3 above, the 12 entries that received the most votes were:

4th Paxton the Planter by Lawrie Caley

5th (joint) Fair-oxon Enchanted Forest (with voters especially mentioning the Enchanted Tree and the Unicorn) by Fairchild End and Coxon Close Crew

5th (joint) Madagascar by the Ackroyds

6th Dave's Web by the Fisher Family

7th Flower Girl by Swenglish

8th Bella and Bonita, the Flowerpot Ladies by The Acorns

9th Printer's Pete on his best Beehiveiour by the Woodcock Family

10th (joint) Scarlett the Gymnast by Lola and Family

10th (joint) Odd Sock Olive by the Hargrave/Perkins Family

11th Little Miss Flowerpot by Cherry Waller

12th (joint) Parsons Penguin Colony by the Parsons Family

12th (joint) Bee Happy by Layla and Maisie

Other entries receiving multiple votes were: Alice in Wonderland, I'll huff and I'll puff, Say Cheese!, The very hungry caterpillar, Long Wall Buzzy Bees, Nobel, Forest, Sit still now!, Hook vs Pan, Tropic Skincare Sally soaking up our Summer, Supertato and Stickman with Tommy the Tarantula.

Haddenham Scarecrow Festival was set up by the Haddenham Association of Scouts and Guides in 2016 partly 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 full and running successfully. New adult volunteers are always welcome. On behalf of the Scout and Guide Association, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, I would like to say a special thank you to:

Everyone who donated to our causes. We will continue to welcome donations until mid-July.

Alan Rose for allowing us to adapt the original map he created for Haddenham Museum Trust

Michael Bond for technical assistance with creating the Map.

Penny at Harpers Estate Agent, Kate at Haddenham Garden Centre for donating prizes and selling Maps (sponsored by Harpers). Louise at Tiggywinkles for donating prizes. Also, thanks to Blooming Fruity, Helen Lewis and Haddenham Library for selling Maps.

Keith at Haddenham.net for his help with promotion, putting the Map and list online and assembling the Gallery of photos, which can be viewed here

Here are some of this year's comments from residents and visitors:

"Harpers love supporting this wonderful community event and sponsoring the Maps. It's great fun to take part too and watch people's faces as they walk around the village looking for scarecrows" Penny Winton, Harpers Haddenham.

"The scarecrows were amazing as usual!"

"Absolutely love the annual scarecrow show!"

"Thanks for organising this lovely village event"

"They were all amazing!"

"We loved Fair-oxen Enchanted Forest – my daughter loved the unicorn particularly and the enchanted tree was spectacular, but just lovely to see the homes working together on it."

Next year will be our 10th Anniversary – so let's aim for 100 displays to celebrate a decade of Scarecrows in Haddenham!

Francesca Flaxton
Brownie Guider and Member of Haddenham Association of Scouts and Guides
July 2024

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