Fleetwood residents’ anger as thugs decapitate festival scarecrows

One of the rugby themed scarecrows with a missing head.
One of the rugby themed scarecrows with a missing head.
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Scarecrows put in place to give the town a much needed boost as part of a big port festival have been vandalised.

It is thought that thugs could be responsible after the heads from scarecrows in a church ground disappeared, others were torn down and in one incident a scarecrow made by schoolchildren was stolen from its place and dumped in an alleyway.

Damaged scarecrows at St Nicholas Church

Damaged scarecrows at St Nicholas Church

Sickened residents lashed out on social media saying they were disgusted by the actions.

And Shaun MacNeill, who has worked tirelessly to bring Fleetwood Scarecrow Festival to the town, purely for the benefit of the community, is appealing for anyone who may know what has happened to come forward.

He said: “The whole purpose of the festival wasn’t just about making the town look nice.

“The message behind it was to increase footfall into the town to bring people in to spend their money at our local businesses and in turn to create jobs and boost the economy.

This is obviously not just one kid, it’s a wrecking spree and highly likely to be people from Fleetwood

“This is obviously not just one kid, it’s a wrecking spree and highly likely to be people from Fleetwood.

“They obviously think it’s a right hoot.

“It’s really important to try and find out what’s happened because this is one way of Fleetwood doing something for the people of the town.”

The group of scarecrows worst hit were at St Nicholas Church.

The theme is May Day and features scarecows which appear to be dancing around the May pole.

Children going to local schools pass the scarecrows every day and one mum, who did not wish to be named, said her children felt really sad and sorry when they saw them.

A trio of scarecrows pinned to railings at Cardinal Allen School were affected and a scarecrow at the ‘Welcome to Fleetwood’ sign on Rossall Road was also found out of place.

In another act of vandalism, a scarecrow made by Fleetwood Freemasons and children from Red Marsh School was stolen.

Mason Bob Boal said: “Unfortunately there is someone who does not appear to have any sense of pride in the community or the fun of the festival.

“Fortunately it was found dumped in Bold Street, but some of the children had made the trip to see their handiwork on display at the Masonic Hall and you can imagine their disappointment when it wasn’t there.”

Richard Newson, a Fleetwood Rotarian, said to bring something positive people should make even more scarecrows and show they will not be beaten.

He said: “Some of it could have been wind and rain but also some was possibly deliberate acts.

“We have no idea untimately whether it was done by someone in Fleetwood but the fact is they are damaged.

“But rather than getting angry lets make another 50 scarecrows and bring a positive from it.

“In fairness its not much different to 20 or 30 years ago, there has always been vandalism. People need to be more vigilant about it.

“Fleetwood’s not a bad place. Lets make lots more and fix up the ones that are damaged.”

Fleetwood Police confirmed they had not received any reports of vandalism to the scarecrows.

However bales of hay in a field have been set alight this week mirroring a similar incident last year when a giant scarecrow made from bales of hay was set on fire. Police however do not believe the latest incident is anything to do with the festival.