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Uffington Scarecrow Festival 2024 includes Bill and Ben, Bagpuss, Top Gear and University Challenge





Familiar faces and children’s characters popped up all over a village during the bank holiday weekend.

Sunshine and a packed schedule helped to attract thousands of visitors to the Uffington Scarecrow Festival on Sunday and Monday.

This year’s theme focused on well-known TV and radio programmes since the 1950s, including children’s classics Andy Pandy, Bagpuss and Bill and Ben, as well as shows for grown ups ranging from Desert Island Discs and the Vicar of Dibley through to University Challenge and Top Gear.

Freddie Riches and Harry Campling with Katrina and James Riches, Stacey and Daniel Campling look at a scarecrow Grand National rider coming over a garden hedge. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Freddie Riches and Harry Campling with Katrina and James Riches, Stacey and Daniel Campling look at a scarecrow Grand National rider coming over a garden hedge. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Winner of the ‘best scarecrow’ prize depicted a Grand National rider leaping over a garden hedge, with Igglepiggle - created by the Knight family and therefore ‘in the Knight garden’ - and a snoring Bagpuss also picking up prizes.

Other top creations included a scarecrow Richard Dimbleby presenting an April Fool’s slot of Panorama under a ‘spaghetti tree’, and - quite fittingly - a scarecrow Worzel Gummidge.

Winners of the scarecrow trail quiz were James Nikel and Scott Holland for the adults, and Francesca Barlow for the children’s version.

As well as the quiz, there were bric-a-brac and plant stalls to explore, home-made cakes to taste, plus welly wanging, traditional fairground games, and a display of farm machinery and classic vehicles.

Karen Ross with her Bill and Ben scarecrows. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Karen Ross with her Bill and Ben scarecrows. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Those there at the right time each day could see a flypast of Second World War aircraft, while there was a dog show on Sunday afternoon.

Lincolnshire police community support officers attended, and Stamford’s firefighters let children take a look inside one of the town’s two fire engines.

At St Michael and All Angels’ Church people could take a trip up the bell tower, see traditional crafts being demonstrated, and there was a ‘Songs of Praise’ for people to sing favourite hymns as voted for by the community.

Father Aran Beesley, Rector of the Uffington Group, with the Vicar of Dibley. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Father Aran Beesley, Rector of the Uffington Group, with the Vicar of Dibley. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Involving several local organists and musicians, and the Uffington School Singing for Fun Club, 150 votes were cast, ‘Jerusalem’ taking top spot with 30% of the vote.

‘Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer’ and ‘Be Still for the Presence of the Lord’ were joint second, and ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’, ‘Praise My Soul’ and ‘How Great Thou Art’ joint third.

The festival is a huge fundraiser for Uffington, with money coming in from car parking and scarecrow trail quiz sheets. Money raised contributes to the upkeep of the thatched village hall on Main Road, the village church, primary school and cricket club.

Tina Sheerman with daughter Jess, 7, join One Man and His Dog. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Tina Sheerman with daughter Jess, 7, join One Man and His Dog. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Clare Byram and Kate Genever on the cake stall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Clare Byram and Kate Genever on the cake stall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Rutland Motorcycle Club members Sean Lord, Paul Simmonds, and Mick Farrell. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Rutland Motorcycle Club members Sean Lord, Paul Simmonds, and Mick Farrell. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Vincent, Nina, Aria and Rafe Brittain won the 'best scarecrow' competition with their Grand National rider jumping a garden hedge
Vincent, Nina, Aria and Rafe Brittain won the 'best scarecrow' competition with their Grand National rider jumping a garden hedge
Micky Hudson and his 1927 Austin 7 Top Hat. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Micky Hudson and his 1927 Austin 7 Top Hat. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Sox Medwynter enjoys an ice cream. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Sox Medwynter enjoys an ice cream. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Theo Harding, 11, has a go at welly wanging. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Theo Harding, 11, has a go at welly wanging. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Theo Harding, 11, has a go at welly wanging. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Theo Harding, 11, has a go at welly wanging. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The 'Hey Duggee' scarecrow by Vanessa Kimberley, who is pictured with grandchildren Vivian and Yves, their mum Asha Tranquille-Day and dad Laurence Kimberley. Photo: Sheila Harrison
The 'Hey Duggee' scarecrow by Vanessa Kimberley, who is pictured with grandchildren Vivian and Yves, their mum Asha Tranquille-Day and dad Laurence Kimberley. Photo: Sheila Harrison
Ian and Sandra Bell Emmingham with their 1973 Rover P6. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Ian and Sandra Bell Emmingham with their 1973 Rover P6. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The bank holiday weekend festival was blessed with good weather. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The bank holiday weekend festival was blessed with good weather. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Dollie Banks, 9, and Buzz, who won 'Best Big Dog' in the dog show. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Dollie Banks, 9, and Buzz, who won 'Best Big Dog' in the dog show. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Brendan Lowther and Mario. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Brendan Lowther and Mario. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Our cartoonist John Elson was busy producing caricature sketches of festival-goers on request. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Our cartoonist John Elson was busy producing caricature sketches of festival-goers on request. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Emma Baxter, 9, with PCSO Georgina Stray. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Emma Baxter, 9, with PCSO Georgina Stray. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Daniel Thomas and his son Kai, 12, take a look at the scarecrow University Challenge team. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Daniel Thomas and his son Kai, 12, take a look at the scarecrow University Challenge team. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The McKoe family. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The McKoe family. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Kylo Wright, 3, Frankie List, 7, Sky Wright, 6, Lola Davey, 10, Arie Wright, 8, and Luna List, 3. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Kylo Wright, 3, Frankie List, 7, Sky Wright, 6, Lola Davey, 10, Arie Wright, 8, and Luna List, 3. Photo: Chris Lowndes
David and Jane Knight with Igglepiggle, which was located 'in the Knight Garden'
David and Jane Knight with Igglepiggle, which was located 'in the Knight Garden'
Charlotte 9 and Evie 6 with their snoring Bagpuss, which won a prize for being among the best scarecrows
Charlotte 9 and Evie 6 with their snoring Bagpuss, which won a prize for being among the best scarecrows
Phoebe, 3, won a lovely hamper for winning the treasure map hunt
Phoebe, 3, won a lovely hamper for winning the treasure map hunt
Welly Wanging winners Chris Arnold (36.4m) and Laura Treble (25m). William Rudkin won the under 15s, and has won every category over the years since the under 7s. Photo: Tina Johnstone
Welly Wanging winners Chris Arnold (36.4m) and Laura Treble (25m). William Rudkin won the under 15s, and has won every category over the years since the under 7s. Photo: Tina Johnstone
Ingrid Giles from the The Bertie Book Club with the book stall at the village hall, which sold more than 700 books
Ingrid Giles from the The Bertie Book Club with the book stall at the village hall, which sold more than 700 books

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