A seasoned look at life - July 5, 2012

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YOU meet strange visitors to our holiday coast, though we welcome them all.

Last weekend I was surprised by some crumpled characters hanging around Stanley Park.

One was slumped in a deckchair outside the Model Village, reading under an umbrella.

But there were a lot more nearby . . . hiding in the woods.

It was, of course, the Scarecrow Festival in Salisbury Woodland, just off East Park Drive by the zoo road.

There were hundreds of the stuffy characters, all painstakingly made by residents, schools, firms and other organisations.

A treasure hunt was run by Blackpool Civic Trust which, with the Volunteer Centre, set up this event.

A few of the Trust’s redoubtable ladies manned a stall and probably felt like scarecrows by the end of their long weekend.

Good luck to them!

The families attending while I was there were having a great time.

However, one old curmudgeon refused a 50p charge for the treasure trail, declaring: “This is a public park, madam!”

As I said to She Who Knows upon returning to Edmonds Towers in Great Marton: “Tell me off, dear – if ever I become that grumpy and mean.”

The smirk and knowing silence that followed were most unfair, I thought.

In fact, well-tailored scarecrows have long inhabited our hedgerows.

Villagers in Rural Fylde, around the Wharles area, have held a similar event for years.

It lifts local interest, bring us together and can improve our environment – like the Britain In Bloom festivals we along the coast put such energy into.

That grumpy, elderly gent failed to recognise that it was not only a good laugh but also required lots of voluntary effort and goodwill.

We should applaud all involved.

Incidentally, you will be seeing a lot more of those plucky ladies from the Trust, whose aim is excellence in civic conservation and development.

Ever game, they have produced a Calendar Girls folder called Blackpool’s Bare Attractions for 2013.

The ladies are pictured sporting only Union Flags by photographer Phil Harrison on open-top trams and in artful settings at resort landmarks, such as the Grand Theatre, Tower Ballroom (my favourite) and even the Town Hall Council Chamber.

Calendars are available from their irrepressible chairman Elaine Smith MBE – phone Blackpool 318948 – who is pictured on Stanley Park band stand covered only by a guitar.

Elaine must have been up with the larks for that one . . . as there are only a few geese to gawp.

n Roy has a new book out, The Last Resort, with Knott End on its cover and tales from near and far - see www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for details.