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Elford Scarecrow Festival - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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From Donald Trump And David Cameron To Mo Farah And The BFG
Where else would you find US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Olympic medallists Tom Daley and Mo Farah, the Queen and Prince Philip, and the Big Friendly Giant? It can only be the annual Elford Scarecrow Festival in the Staffordshire village of Elford, near Tamworth.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
Donald Trump and his Mexican wall

The two-day event saw around a hundred scarecrows of all shapes and sizes descend on the pretty little village. The annual Scarecrow Festival, organised by Elford Parish Council, returned over the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August for the seventh year.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
Don't go in the water!

And the entries from the local villagers, many of whom clearly begin work on their designs as soon as the previous event is over, clearly surpassed themselves for the 2016 festival, with hundreds of visitors of all ages attracted to Elford to view the amazing scarecrow concoctions on offer.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
Don't try this at home!

Clearly there was a topical theme going on with many of the scarecrow entries that took pride of place in people's gardens, as well as within the local St Peter's Church, Elford Village Hall, the local social club, village school, and the renovated Elford Walled Garden.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
David Cameron and Tom Daley prepare to dive

With the Olympics in Rio having concluded just days before the festival, there was a suitable scarecrow tribute to the record-breaking British athletes of Team GB. They included double 10,000 metre and 5,000 metre Olympic champion Mo Farah and bronze medal diver Tom Daley who, bizarrely, appeared alongside former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
The 'Red Barrows' display team

With politics very much to the fore recently, there was also a reference to the American presidential race with controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump and a suggestion of the wall he would like built to keep Mexicans out of the US.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
The Pokemon app craze was well represented

The current Pokémon app craze resulted in a couple of creative scarecrow entries, while other topical offerings included the BFG, the Big Friendly Giant, whose film was recently released.
Other popular entries included Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, together with corgis, cartoon favourites Homer and Marge Simpson, Wallace and Gromit, and tributes to comedy creation Alan Partridge and movie star Russell Crowe.

The Elford Scarecrow Festival
Wallace and Gromit make an appearance

But there was also no shortage of other ingenious entries which had no topical reference whatsoever. These ranged from the 'Red Barrows' display team and the perils of entering shark-infested waters to a woman with her head stuck inside a washing machine.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
By royal appointment

All of the scarecrows could be viewed free of charge by simply strolling throughout Elford village at their own pace. And, if things got too hectic for visitors they could stop off for refreshments in the village pub, The Crown, or for tea and cakes in the village hall.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
The Big Friendly Giant

In addition, there was a barbecue, together with a new Pimms and beer tent, in the church grounds which also housed a marquee selling goods, plus various 'have-a-go' activities to try including golf chipping, guess the weight of the (live) sheep, splat the rat, hook a duck, and football penalties.

Elford Scarecrow Festival
Cream teas were readily available

Youngers visitors were also encouraged to follow a special children's trail as they wandered round the village, while people of all ages were given the chance to nominate their favourites for the Scarecrow Champion of 2016 as well as enter a prize raffle.
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Why? Scarecrows In All Shapes And Sizes
When: 27-28 August 2016
Phone: 01827 50230
Where: Elford Village Hall. Church Road, Elford, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 9DA
Cost: Free
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