CORONAVIRUS and vandalism has not stopped a village from having fun and unleashing its competitive side, through designing and building scarecrows.

During the month of July residents of Hindon were busy creating scarecrows for the annual competition, now entering its third year.

Usually the challenge coincides with the village’s flower show, but this year’s event was cancelled following the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

From coronavirus-inspired designs to beloved book characters, around 20 scarecrows were submitted which decorated the High Street, with the top three entries decided by a public vote.

Organised by John Hughes, first place was awarded to the Hartley family for ‘Enviro-keeper’, inspired by the need to look after the planet. This entry also included a poem written by son Joseph.

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The Hartley family was also presented with the ‘Matthew Burt Bowl’, donated by Matthew and Celia Burt who run a bespoke furniture firm and showroom in Hindon.

Second place was awarded to Jacqueline Ainsley for replicating chief medical officer ‘Professor Chris Whitty’.

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Despite its head being removed, the Yeatman family’s`The Monarch’s Way Rat’ came joint third with ‘Damon Hillstart’, by Johnny and Julia Morant.

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Hindon Parish Councillor Frank Freeman said: “Despite the flower show being cancelled we thought there was no problem in continuing this tradition. We have had to be so careful, so it was nice to have a bit of fun during miserable circumstances.

“With the show lots of people would have been congregating and we didn’t want to bring people into danger.

“The scarecrow competition was right along the High Street so there was no reason not to have it.”

Cllr Freeman added that one entry promoting road safety was withdrawn from the competition, after a fellow villager described it as “too macabre and inappropriate”.

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Talking about the vandalism during the competition, Cllr Freeman said: “On the first night the pubs were open the head [of `The Monarch’s Way Rat’] was disgracefully removed. This was such a pity and a brutal lesson in life for the children of the family who entered it.”

The children category was won by Betty, Heidi and Max Gray with their ‘Gangster Granny’.