I had never seen so many scarecrows in my life. I had a tour of medieval and modern history through scarecrows in Pirbright village in Surrey last weekend.
The scarecrows in the Pirbright Church (St Michael & All Angels) portraying the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket were so real that the atmosphere was rather eerie.
Last weekend, Pirbright village celebrated the 800th Anniversary of Pirbright Church, where my son was christened in 2001. The Scarecrow Festival involved the whole village and I felt a strong sense of community in this sweet, beautiful village.
King Alfred also made an entry. Remember he sought refuge in a swineheard’s hut? Well, King Alfred was too preoccupied with his own problems that he allowed the cakes to burn.
My favourite was Isaac Newton and his real apple tree. The composition of the scarecrow was enhanced with interesting details. Newton was reading a book: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Rather unsurprisingly, there were a few apples on the grass.
General Douglas Haig (1861 – 1928) was British commander on the Western Front for most of World War One. The scarecrow evoked poignant memores of the war. The General was resting by a tree, surrounded by blooming poppies, a sandbag and a suitcase trunk. He was writing a letter “To my dearest darling”.
When I spotted some cheerful daffodils from a distance, William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o’er vales and hills…” sprang to mind. Indeed, the poet William Wordsworth was also present amongst Guy Fawkes, Cleopatra, Boudicca, Julius Caesar, Jester, Friar Tuck and Dick Whittington and his Cat. The daffodils reminded me of our beautiful April this year.
The winner of the Scarecrow Competition was Winston Churchill. This presentation looked unbelievably real. He was impeccably dressed. His bulldog was covered with the Union Jack.
Many of the scarecrows were made to a high standard. People in the Pirbright village are full of creativity and imagination. Here are a few more scarecrows for your enjoyment.