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Johnny Depp effigy wins scarecrow competition in Hepworth

Johnny Depp may be having somewhat of a troubled time in real life with his ongoing court case, but in Hepworth, he will always be a winner – for the next year, at least.

For it was a scarecrow effigy of Mr Depp, in his role as scary Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of The Caribbean, which won the second ever Hepworth Scarecrow Festival.

Captain Jack was made by Depp fan, Steph Arnold, and came compete with a hand-painted face, pirate’s outfit, skull and crossbone flags and a bottle of rum.

Fiona Roe meets Captain Jack Sparrow. Picture: Richard Marsham
Fiona Roe meets Captain Jack Sparrow. Picture: Richard Marsham

“We were absolutely amazed by the quality of the scarecrows this year,” said parish councillor Robin Shakleton, one of the organisers.

“Johnny Depp was beautifully made, as were many others, including Captain Sir Tom Moore, with tie and medals, a Hawaiian dancer adapted from a stone statue, a fearsome ‘terrordactyl’, and a fanciful four-legged unicorn in Wellington boots, called Stardust Gummidge.

“We had hoped for around 25 scarecrows but in the end, there were around 34 and the two judges had a hard time choosing a winner as they were all really great,” said Robin.

Postman Pat scarecrow, as a key worker, wore a mask
Postman Pat scarecrow, as a key worker, wore a mask

The Scarecrow Festival was held for three days over the bank holiday weekend.

With the village hall closed due to Covid-19 and social distancing measures still in place, Hepworth Parish Council decided to resurrect the festival, which was last held in 2018.

“We were thinking of things we could do in terms of events and the scarecrow festival ticked all the boxes in what might be allowed,” added Robin. “The only thing we couldn’t do was hold the prize-giving in the village hall.

“I think we saw more visitors to the village, especially on Sunday and Monday, when the weather was better, than we have seen for quite a few years. It was great.

Captain Sir Tom Moore and Dame Vera Lynn
Captain Sir Tom Moore and Dame Vera Lynn

“With children being at home too, people really put a lot of time and effort into their creations and it really showed.”

Second prize in the competition went to Robin and Julie Filby with The Ploughman.

Third prize went to Emily and Paige Fuller, with Petal the Summer Fairy.

Other scarecrows included Postman Pat, a builder called Mister Bitt, Staycation Sid, Tin Lizzy and also, Prime Minster Boris Johnson.

The winner received the prized Worzel Gummidge Cup and Wyken Hall meal voucher.

“I think we will definitely do it again next year and Hepworth residents did us proud,” said Robin.

“The scarecrows ranged a mile apart from one end of the village to the other and a few, such as Postman Pat even wore facemasks, themselves.

“As we didn’t have a theme, the judging criteria was innovation and creativity, and there was certainly plenty of that.

“It was a great weekend.”

For lots more pictures from the festival, which featured 34 scarecrows, see this Friday's Bury Free Press, September 4 edition.