Warning: for those of a sensitive disposition, this post includes images of clowns
Today, in the paper, reference was made to a new operation providing privileges for the posh, a sort of upmarket Gumtree where you can get your perfect nanny for little Tarquin and Baby Jezebel, or an extra for your grouse shoot or specially crafted yak-leather thongs or some such. This urge to outdo is alive and well in classless Britain and it makes my skin crawl frankly.
However, today I came across an antidote, with the best sort of British oneupmanshipery:
The Halesworth Scarecrow Festival
Each year, over the week nearest Hallowe’en, the Suffolk town of Halesworth runs a challenge for the shops and banks and other businesses: to create an imaginative scarecrow.
This provides entertainment for anyone visiting and, of course, pulls in more visitors.
Children are sent on hunts to find the most bizarre (and a code to lead them to a prize) and money is raised for local charities.
Perhaps these dummies aren’t the best crafted and some are distinctly so-so but then, they don’t pretend to the pretentious end of the spectrum.
They embody an important and often forgotten concept where marketing is involved: fun.
They do that thing which we need more of: smiles.
And they use old clothes, cheap materials and a ton of balled up paper.
I had a blazing time snapping away and chatting to other visitors about their favourites, though constant vigilance was required as they did seem to be something of a magnet for Dog and some badly timed leg-cockery.
And the clowns?
Which are you favourites?