September 17 2014 Latest news:
Monday, May 5, 2014
A lively line up of colourful characters sprung up in gardens, by gate posts and on the greens of Martham as the village played host to its annual scarecrow festival.
Alice in Wonderland, an angel, the devil, uniformed pupils, a giant cat and even a Go Go Gorilla were among the straw-stuffed characters that went on display over the weekend, and drew hundreds of visitors to the village - including a celebrity admirer.
Actor and TV presenter Bradley Walsh dropped in on the festival to admire the creations and stopped to meet many of the groups who had set up stalls for the weekend.
Marine cadets from 901 troop were delighted to meet the star and posed for pictures with him.
Pop singer Miley Cyrus, cartoon character Gru and two of his minions from animated film Despicable Me also featured among the decoy doppelgangers, as did a stranded pirate who took up his post in the village pond.
A treasure hunt, residents’ garden and garage sales, a scavenger hunt, fun fair, bake off competition, stalls and live entertainment also filled the bill during the two-day festival, which is now in its seventh year.
And new to this year’s programme were displays of yarn bombing, which saw roofs, lampposts, fences, posts and railings get covered in colourful knitted patches and bunting.
Peter Carpenter, one of the four organisers, said the event aimed to appeal to all ages and was an occasion that brought the whole village together.
“We try and cater for a family day rather than just being the adults or the kids, we try and bring everything in,” he added.
“And people want to come to us. All the businesses in the village all want to get involved, it’s nice to have that.”
Almost 100 scarecrows dotted the village, including entries from the village’s branch of Slimming World, Flegg High School, Dragons Stage and Theatre School, Martham Sports and Social Club, 1st Martham Brownies and Martham and District Gardening Club.
Mr Carpenter said he was always impressed by the designs groups and residents come up with, and this year had been no exception.
And the field-dwelling dummies also proved a hit with the scores of families who flocked into the village over Sunday and Monday, with many trekking through the streets to spot them all.
“People have come in and said what a wonderful day and that’s what it’s all about,” Mr Carpenter said. “There’s been no bad feedback and the village has been buzzing.”
The popular event raises money for local causes, and this year proceeds will be donated to the village’s youth centre.
Cupcakes and cookies made for the bake off competition are also handed to the churches to sell, with proceeds going into their coffers.