Hats off to Old Bell for latest Delph scarecrows success

THE characters may have been different but thanks to the inventiveness of Old Bell staff, the results of Delph’s annual scarecrow festival had a familiar ring about them.

That’s why Phil Whiteman, landlord of the Huddersfield Road hostelry, went up for the cup once more.

“I just get the glory bit,” laughed Phil after collecting the winners’ trophy from Sue Lund of the Delph Community Association.

“The scarecrow making is all down to the staff who come up with the idea and design.”

But the big winner of the 13th annual festival was once again the village. Nearly £650 was raised from the event that saw 25 scarecrows, representing heroes and villains from children’s books, appear in homes, businesses, on walls and in gardens throughout the area.

Most of the proceeds will go to the upkeep of the Chapel gardens with the rest put towards the running costs of Delph Library.

Each scarecrow was decorated with a mask to highlight the village’s association with the former Delph ‘Donkey’ train line, now a popular footpath.

But there was no mistaking the books being represented including the Old Bell’s adaptation of Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss.

Runner-up but awarded a special ‘house based’ first prize was Mary Poppins created by Josie Whitehead and Susan Toone.

Third place went to Sheila Beresford for her Stick Man (author Julia Donaldson) while Reverend John Rosedale, vicar of St Thomas’s Delph, showed his competitive edge by gaining a creditable fourth with his Tiger who came to Tea (author Judith Kerr).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (author Eric Carle) ensured Roberta Daw claimed fifth spot.

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