The sun shone and the steel band played as the community came together for Oving Scarecrow Day.
Lucy Bailey, team chair said: “Thanks to all who made scarecrows, to our amazing and wonderful volunteers, to the cadets from the 461 Squadron ATC, Dawn and Gareth our community wardens and to the people who bought their cars to be admired, to Tim for his Tuck Shop, to the Huttons for the use of their garden, the Youth Club, Ralph on the Pimms, and Tony for his inimitable microphone pazsazz.
“Special thanks to our very kind and supportive sponsors, Oving Clinic (for the barn dance support), The Duke of Richmond, the Hague family and the Woodhorn Group. We have other very generous sponsors, Wayside Organics, Hall Hunter, Natures Way, Tangmere Nurseries, Cariad Beauty, Chichester Festival theatre, the Bognor Picturedrome to name just a few. Oving Scarecrow Day would not exist with the sponsors’ support or for all of you who came, bought raffle tickets, ice creams and refreshments.
“The scarecrow awards went to Boxgrove School, to Charlie for his Stephen Hawking scarecrow and the Skipper-Wallis family for Henry VIII, the judge’s favourite. Sue Jameson, the judge, has sent her comments and they’re on the website.
“Oving Scarecrow Day was not set up with the aim of making money, we make just enough money to ensure that every family can come, join in by making a scarecrow and bring their children for a lovely afternoon, celebrating our rural roots, enjoying arts and entertainment without spending lots of money.
“We have found it very difficult this year. One sponsor could not support us due to their lack of contracts, and West Sussex County Council has changed its community funding policy to a crowd funding based system which is unsuitable to organisations like ourselves. The lack of those two funders (approximately £450 income to us) means that we will be re-thinking what we can offer next year. We also are short of people on the organising team, there are just six of us or often just five of us due to work commitments, which means we are over stretched So, if you enjoyed Scarecrow Day and would like it to continue next year, please support by joining the small team of organisers, or if you work locally, ask your employer about sponsoring us. It’s not a lot of money to a company, maybe £100, but it can make an enormous difference to us. For example £100 would pay for the ferrets, £275 would pay for the band. We do need help and sponsors to continue into 2019. We have faith that we will be supported and the hall is booked for May 11, 2019 - royal weddings permitting!”