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The 2012 Urchfont Scarecrow Festival!

So with another wet and windy May Bank Holiday upon us, we pack up the car with the children, supplies and our trusty Mountain Buggy terrain and head up to Wiltshire to visit the grandparents. Being avid walkers we won’t let a little bit of wind and rain stop us, and so I double check that I have got the storm cover for the terrain in the car. I love that it folds down so neatly and sits snugly in the gear tray.

Hannah and Joshua’s grandparents live in the delightful village of Urchfont, which is not only one of the most picturesque villages I have ever been to, it also has real heart and a great sense of community. To me there is something quite spectacular and rare about a village coming together to organise such a large-scale event for the benefit of the community. This sense of belonging is definitely something that you can miss out on by living in a big and busy town.

Each year individuals, groups and families make a scarecrow, which reflects that particular years theme. These are then placed in various points throughout the village. 2012 was all about famous people or characters that began with A, B or C. Visitors then follow the numbered trail and cryptic clues to try and guess who the scarecrow is supposed to be. The whole concept of the scarecrow festival came about in 1997, when one of the locals suggested this as a way of raising money for the refurbishment of the Urchfont village hall. It started as a small-scale event and is now attended by thousands of people every year and it really is a great day out. This year they raised over £14,000 as a community and half of this will be ploughed back into various clubs and societies for the village residents – what a fantastic achievement!

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As the May Bank Holiday drew closer there were fears that everyone’s hard work had gone to waste as the surrounding fields used for parking were water logged. However people were so determined to attend the festival that they simply left their cars further out and walked in! What an accolade for the villagers of Urchfont!

After inspecting the weather and feeling quite pleased that the sun was shining, we headed out into the village. The quality of the scarecrows was just fantastic, apparently people start making them months beforehand and looking at them I could understand why. We saw so many fantastic creations including Barbie, Captain Cook, Alvin the Chipmunk, Cinderella and Cyclops. My daughter Hannah was captivated by Angelina Ballerina and consequently Grandma spent quite a bit of time coaxing Hannah away from her.

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As we neared the end of our exploring the rain started to come down and I was very thankful for the storm cover. Quick as a flash I was able to get the cover on to keep Joshua nice and dry. He looks so snug and warm under the storm cover, watching out, as we all got soaked! A good time to head back to Grandma's for a lovely hot cup of tea and if we are really lucky a slice of delicious cake…..

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