Worzels come out in force for festival in Wallington

Scarecrows awaiting judging at the Wallington Harvest Festival.'Pictures: Cherry Harnott
Scarecrows awaiting judging at the Wallington Harvest Festival.'Pictures: Cherry Harnott
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Wallington paid homage to the popular children’s character Worzel Gummidge at its harvest festival this month.

More than 80 villagers attended the annual event, which saw 25 Worzels entered for the scarecrow competition and a short Victorian melodrama.

Throughout September scarecrows have been springing up in the gardens and front windows of houses throughout the village as part of a community-based project to get people involved in village activities.

The hand-made scarecrows came as individuals, as couples and even as a trio.

Sue Morse, a member of the Wallington Village Community Association (WVCA), said: ‘The idea was born at the post-pantomime celebration, attended by all the women who had helped with the costumes and make-up for last year’s highly successful village production.

‘Kits were designed to be sold at the annual fete and workshops were offered. More than 30 kits were sold and attendance at the workshops far exceeded expectations – bringing together all age groups in the village.

‘Villagers, young and old had used immense imagination in designing, sewing and dressing their straw-filled creations.’

They were judged by the gardening club in two classes – under-12s and over-12s and the two prizes were presented by ward councillor Katrina Trott.

Following the judging, Wallington Young Players performed a short Victorian melodrama written by Fareham playwright and former teacher, Paul King.

The nasty baron, aided by his henchman, tried to steal the local young beauty from the handsome hero to whom she had just been betrothed. But as with all such dramas there was a happy ending.

The evening was interspersed with harvest hymns and poems and ended with an auction of all the produce that was donated.

A total of £160 was raised for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

James Clark, WVCA Chairman, added: ‘These exciting community activities are part of the association’s plan to embrace all age groups in village events.’