Scarecrow festival goes on without show

Householders in North Kyme were keen to continue with a socially distanced scarecrow festival in their village despite the annual produce show having to be cancelled.

North Kyme scarecrow festival. Valarie Thomas looking at a scarecrow, made by her neighbour Sheila Palmer. EMN-200914-094101001

Residents usually enjoy displaying their crop of fruit, vegetables and handicrafts at the village hall, with various other entertainment and stalls inside and outside the hall, including a dog show.

Covid-19 meant organisers could not allow such a gathering, but some households that usually join in the accompanying scarecrow festival felt the occasion could still go on safely.

Around half a dozen scarecrow makers surpassed themselves, giving passers-by a great show in their front gardens.

North Kyme scarecrow festival. Trish Chaisty with the scarecrow she made with her daughter. EMN-200914-094123001

Trish and John Chaisty’s scarecrows were the winners, dressed in the couple’s formal dress uniform which they would have worn to attend regimental dinners and functions at the mess while serving in the Royal Logistics Corps.

Trish said: “We are both ex-Army and only moved here from Oxfordshire in June due to delays with lockdown, but wanted to participate in the competition.

“The mess kit has been in the loft for years. We would normally toast the Queen, the regiment and absent friends at the dinners and I thought we should toast the key workers.

“My daughter, Leanne, helped make the heads, painted them and did the hair and I did the stuffing.

North Kyme scarecrow festival. Lily Midgley 9 with the scarecrow she made at her Grandpa's house. EMN-200914-094112001

“I have been out working in the garden and seen people stop their cars to take photos.”

Where she used to live, Trish crocheted a ‘Hope Quilt’ during lockdown and put it on display outside her home in a housing estate.

She said children loved to see the designs depicting the emergency services and key workers on it during their daily exercise.