Half-term scarecrow trail a hit with families

Bradley Stoke’s first-ever charity scarecrow trail held over the half-term school holiday was a resounding success with an estimated 600 families taking on the challenge of visiting all 26 figures.

The scarecrows, each depicting a famous witch or wizard, were created and hosted by local residents, community groups and businesses.

Photo of the Dobby the House Elf scarecrow.
Favourite Scarecrow: Dobby the House Elf by Wildhearts Childcare.

Having obtained their trail maps in exchange for a £1 charity donation, participants were set the task of naming each of the figures, aided by clues on display at each site.

Everybody taking part was asked to name their favourite scarecrow and also the one they considered to be the funniest. Those returning their completed forms to the town council offices were entered into a prize draw for the chance to win £50.

The event was the idea of Bradley Stoke mayor Cllr Tony Griffiths, who saw it as providing an affordable and fun family activity that would be compatible with the current Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.

A prize of £100 was awarded to the makers of the favourite scarecrow, £50 to the one voted funniest. A third prize of £100 went to the mayor’s personal favourite.

Northavon Carpentry – serving Bristol and South

The winners

Favourite Scarecrow* (£100)

No. 24 Dobby the House Elf by Wildhearts Childcare

Funniest Scarecrow* (£50)

No. 3 Ron Weasley by the Wass family

Mayor’s Favourite

No. 3 Nearly Headless Nick by the Owen Family

Trail Map Prize Draw (£50)

Charlene and Adam

* As voted by participants

For a full list of prize winners, visit the dedicated Scarecrow Trail page on the town council website.

Photo of the Ron Weasley scarecrow.
Funniest scarecrow: Ron Weasley by the Wass family.

Commenting on the success of the initiative, Cllr Griffiths said:

“I am delighted that we were able to put on this community event during this year of Covid, when we have had to cancel so many.”

“The event was the initiative of the deputy town clerk, Odile McIntosh, who deserves a good pat on the back for coming up with the idea and, mostly single-handedly, organising everything. Odile was delighted to see the children and adults arrive at the various centres, really excited to find the scarecrows scattered around the town.”

“This was a very successful event where the community could occupy the children at half-term at a very affordable cost. Seeing some of the parents going round, I engaged with one parent who said her six-year-old was a little frightened but was really enjoying finding the scarecrows.”

“I would like to thank the event sponsors: Andy Wynn, manager of the Willow Brook Centre, for his continued support; Chris, the manager of the Hollow Tree public house; and Specsavers for their generosity.”

“I would also like to thank all who participated in making the scarecrows and those who purchased the maps, from which the profit will go to my two mayoral charities for this year, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and Next Link Domestic Abuse Services.”

Photo of the Nearly Headless Nick scarecrow.
Mayor’s favourite: Nearly Headless Nick, by Harry and Penny.

Deputy town clerk Odile McIntosh added:

“Personally I would love to thank all the sponsors who helped us start this event so we were able to offer prizes. A massive ‘thank you’ to all of the scarecrow makers, the votes were so close and the quality of the scarecrows very high.”

“It was lovely seeing families, children, parents, dogs and grandparents braving the trail in all weathers. Lots of the children dressed up as they walked around the town and everyone said it was lots of fun.”

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 34 & 35). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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