Winners of Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath scarecrow trail
THIS year's Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath scarecrow trail captured the imagination of residents – and drew praise from a special visitor.
The trail celebrated the life and work of author Dick King-Smith, best known for his book The Sheep-Pig, who lived for many years at Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath, and was inspired by the landscape and animals around him.
His daughter Juliet King-Smith visited the scarecrow trail, staged during the school half-term holidays, which featured 19 scarecrows made by residents based on characters from the books.
She spent the morning walking around the trail, starting off at My English Home with Just Binnie, with the next stop Molesworths the butchers with the Mouse Butcher. Butcher Nick Rapps said he deliberately chose his character from one of the more unusual books written by Mr King-Smith. The toy mice had been handmade by his wife.
At the Gingerbread café Juliet came across a scarecrow with a gingerbread nose, with the book The Queen’s Nose as its inspiration. She then passed the Finger Eater scarecrow to pose for a photo next to Sophie scarecrow on the bench outside St Peter’s Church.
The six novels featuring Sophie were based on Juliet's mother, Myrle, who shared her husband’s love of animals. Juliet’s final stop was Sophie’s Snail, in the grounds of Frampton Cotterell Church of England Primary School, where many children had made their own drawings of the snail and hung them on the fence.
Juliet also visited her favourite haunts in the surrounding countryside, and signed copies of her father’s books at Manor Hall in Coalpit Heath, ending the session by reading a series of short stories written by him to children.
She said: “It was so nice to be in Coalpit Heath again. I loved the brilliantly imaginative scarecrows. The gathering in the hall that used to be the primary school went very well, and it was nice to meet some locals and their kids and to read, ostensibly, to the children – but I noticed the parents and helpers seemed to enjoy listening in, too.”
The scarecrow voted best by the public was the Adventurous Snail, above, followed by Aristotle the Witch, below, and the Water Horse, bottom.
Next year there will be another trial in October. Anyone with an idea for a theme can contact the parish council on 01454 864442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.