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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Anger as vandals hit Stamfordham Village Fair

ANGRY organisers of a traditional village fair have been left clutching at straws – after someone sabotaged their scarecrows.
Stamfordham Village Fair in Northumberland will be revived next weekend after a gap of more than 20 years, and the whole rural community is looking forward to its return.
Organisers based at the 69-pupil village school made a number of scarecrows, which were fixed to posts and sited at local roadsides, in a bid to promote the event and get as many people as possible to turn up.
Now they have been left deflated after two of the straw-stuffed creations were taken by thieves – and a third was ‘dismembered’ by vandals and strewn all over the road.
The scarecrows and promotional posters were put out last weekend to generate interest in the fair, which will be held at the school on Sunday July 11 from 1pm to 4pm.
On Monday organisers discovered that two were missing and a third, located on the Military Road/Matfen road junction, had been ripped apart and scattered on the road. Claire McKinney, headteacher at Stamfordham First School, said proceeds from the fair would be used to buy laptops for pupils, and the event had pulled the whole community together. “It’s so sad as the children are very excited about the village fair and scarecrow spotting has become quite a pastime when families are out and about. All of the children are working so hard to make the event a success; planting and tending seeds, making plant markers, painting pots as well as baking cakes.
“We just don’t understand why people would do this when it is clearly for an event that is being organised for everyone to enjoy in the local community.”
Another organiser, Beverly Scott, said: “We are mortified that some of our scarecrows have been removed or dismembered. It is so saddening when many people have put so much work into a community event.
“The scarecrows were hammered into the ground on stakes, so they have not been blown away by the wind.”
The village fair will be held in the school grounds and surrounding farmland. It includes sporting activities and competitions, a barbecue, beer tent, craft and cake stalls, face painting, pony and trap rides, live music and dance and much more.
Other attractions include a bouncy castle, a display of school work and a plant sale, and people will be able to enjoy traditional sports such as wellie throwing, a three-legged race and egg and spoon races. Admission costs £1 for adults and 50p for children.
Source: Journal Live