In East Boldon, in South Tyneside there is a tradition of an annual scarecrow festival taking place in the village organised by The Friends of East Boldon Parks. This has always been a popular event and an opportunity for community groups, businesses and residents to release their creative talents and take part in a wonderful community event. The event took a pause due to covid but was back this Jubilee year with a theme of "Best of British".
This year members of the churches of the Benefice of the Boldons decided to take part and set about making their entry of “More tea Vicar?”. The plan was to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee by recreating the now famous Paddington Bear sketch, but rather than being set in Buckingham Place, it was to be in Boldon, hosted by Priest in Charge Rev Paul.
The festival was delayed by a week because of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth, but the church members decided to go ahead with their scarecrow as a fitting tribute to the Queen.
A big team of volunteers from the church became involved in making the final scarecrow scene. This included Amy, a ceramicist and owner of a local ceramics business made clay marmalade sandwiches, Norma knitted a tea cosy, Barbara made cupcakes out of flowers and Alison and her daughter Jenny created costumes for all the characters and papier-mache heads, Emma made paper bunting saying, "thank you ma’am for everything” and Sue secured us lots of straw from the local farm. All the regulars at the Tuesday Coffee morning got involved with stuffing and creating and it felt so great to be part of a fun community project. What was great, was that people from across the Benefice got involved and everyone brought their different set of skills. There was a great team of people who set up on the morning, in the rain, but the sunshine soon came out.
The reaction from the community was so positive with hundreds of visitors stopping by, the entry also impressed the festivals judges and was awarded 1st place in the community category.