SPEEDWATCH SCARECROWS – THE JUDGE’S VERDICT

Judgement has been delivered on Hambledon’s speed watch scarecrows and the winners declared.

And, as befits our small and connected community, they ranged from a nonagenarian to a youngster aged five.

Jane Woolley, long-standing village resident, founder of Hambledon Village Trust and for many years its parish clerk, was asked to step in to conduct the judging, after local police casualty reduction officer Steve Milton had to withdraw at the last minute.

With notebook and pen she examined all the scarecrows scattered around the village. More than 30 were inspected, each one a home-made creation by local families and friends, individuals and groups, and each delivering a message to motorists to drive slowly through Hambledon’s narrow lanes.

They have attracted so much attention that they have featured on BBC radio and television and in the Surrey Advertiser.

And the winner was….Norman Gravestock, for his injured pensioner scarecrow in Church Lane, slumped on the roadside with the message “They Said Slow Down”.

At the age of 91, Norman, pictured below, was the oldest participant and he decided his award of a Merry Harriers llama trek was more punishment than prize, so opted for a meal for two at the pub instead.

The runners-up were Jude Milan, from Paddock Close, with her clown scarecrow, who also won dinner at the Merry Harriers; Hambledon Nursery School for its Captain Hambledon scarecrow, receiving cup cakes from Nelly’s Bakes in the Old Coal Yard; five-year-old Charlie Perkins from Malthouse Lane for his angry dragon scarecrow, winning a hamper of goodies from Hambledon’s community-run village shop; Cathy and Liv Coleman, cousins from Rock Hill, for their cyclist scarecrow, who received a two-week family pass to Fearless martial arts, also based in the Old Coal Yard; and Robin Cole and Hambledon Football Club for the Badger scarecrow outside the club’s Badger Park ground, for which they won a £30 Waitrose voucher.

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Hambledon Speed Watch Scarecrows Feature on Local Media

Hambledon’s Speed Watch Scarecrows are to feature on regional television, radio and in the local Press.

The eye-catching roadside scarecrows have caught the imagination of the media and various villagers have been asked to give interviews to explain their purpose.

Local resident Jo Kirkland came up with the idea of home-made scarecrows to deliver a message to motorists to drive slowly and carefully through the narrow, unlit and unpaved roads of Hambledon. The idea has been endorsed by the Parish Council and is supported by the Hambledon Speedwatch team led by Mary Grove.

Locally donated prizes will be awarded to those judged to have made the best scarecrows.

Today (Wednesday September 30th) the BBC regional television news programme South Today ran a feature on the scarecrow campaign in its breakfast show and this is likely to be repeated during afternoon and evening bulletins.

BBC Radio Surrey is expected to air a slot at around 7.50am tomorrow and the Surrey Advertiser is planning to carry an article in the edition published this Friday.

Up and down the village, householders have been busy making scarecrows and then putting them outside their homes to get across the message of safe driving. They come in all shapes and sizes and, to date, there are 26 spread around the village, from Hydestile to Lane End.

Due to the success of the scheme the date for entries has been extended until next Tuesday, October 6th,  so there is still time for more villagers to make a scarecrow. And Fearless Martial Arts, based in The Coal Yard, is the latest to offer a prize, a two-week family pass for free training.

For a list of the other prizes please see earlier news items here. http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=13815 and http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=13667

On behalf of concerned villagers, Hambledon Parish Council has been pressing for increased safety measure in the village, including further speed reductions. However, Surrey County Council has, so far, indicated that no new measures can be introduced.

The Speed Watch campaign is supported by Surrey police and the scarecrow competition is to be judged by the local casualty reduction officer. This website will carry the results and photographs of the entries.