Sunday, 28 June 2015

First 'Crow' Sighted in Loughton!

Cycling to the post, first thing this morning, I noticed that 'ScareMacaw' has come to Loughton. He is delicious and very blue, and he can be viewed at the junction of Leys Road and the Bradwell Road. I went back later in the day with a camera!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Trail Guides are Here

At 7 Lucy Lane. They are 12 pages long and cost £2.00 each. If you would like to buy one before the Trail opens, please give me a ring on 01908 696072 or email on, to fix a time to drop round to pick one up.

The Torso is Finished

Here's the final result of all my efforts building the torso. The Giant is massive. He should be spectacular! I'm only hoping he's not going to be too heavy to carry. So far, he's been fine in rehearsals, but that was without his smock. We are hoping that there will only be a light breeze when he's walking about the village, so that he won't suffer from 'windage'.

The photo below shows how the torso is supported on a backpack. The willow torso frame is suspended from a 'neck' made from an empty plastic paint pot and held in place by a small, sized-to-fit willow ring taped at the top centre point of the torso frame. A large wooden dowel holds the whole assembly together from the bottom of the back pack, up through the torso, neck, face, hat and bird, perched on top of the hat. The dowel is supported within a larger plastic pipe, taped to the centre of the back pack. The willow torso frame is also taped firmly to the back pack and centre pipe, wherever it can be supported. The arms (described in an earlier post) have been drilled and pinned to a white, small diameter plastic pipe that runs through the top of the wicker frame at the shoulders. Altogether, it is quite a feat of engineering!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Loughton Giant is Coming Together!

We've been working on the Loughton Giant's torso this weekend. It is made of willow, which is incredibly light and strong. My husband David is modelling the torso here, for the first time. The body parts of our giant have not been fixed into place yet, but he is slowly coming together. When he is fully assembled, he will be about nine feet high to the top of the bird on his hat. Obviously, when everything has been secured, his head will be facing forwards. Meanwhile, David is busy working out how best to carry him, and how to put on and take off the back pack on which the giant is supported. Building our giant has definitely been a steep learning curve, but I'm getting quite excited about how he will look when he is finished.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Building the Giant's Arms

The Giant's arms are each about four feet long. His hands have been made from a pair of (oversized) builder's gloves stuffed with bubble wrap. His arms have been made from two lengths of flexible, plastic covered ventilation duct. I've added some dyed raffia to his wrists to simulate straw. Once the arms are attached to the torso, they will be hidden beneath the Giant's capacious, long sleeved smock.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ahead with the Head

Its a while since I posted news of the Loughton Giant. I've been so busy doing other things that he's been a bit neglected, but I'm back onto the case now. I've made the back of his head from cardboard,

stuffed it with paper,

and put on the first layer of papier mache.

The head took ages to dry, but it is now ready for a second layer of papier mache. He will soon be ready for the fun part - decorating him. Meanwhile, I'm building his torso from willow, but more of that anon!

The Final Competition Line Up

This year's entries are mainly from Adults and Families. There are 38 competitors in this Class, so there will be one first prize of £50.00 (gift vouchers from a leading MK store) and four runners-up who will each receive £20.00 vouchers. The Charities Class has 10 competitors. There will be a first Prize of £50.00 gift vouchers, and two runners-up of £20.00 each. The 5 Schools who have entered scarecrows will compete for one £50.00 first prize and two £20.00 runners-up.

Only one Business has entered this year, so that will receive a special prize of £30.00 gift vouchers. The one Child who entered a scarecrow will receive a special prize of £20.00 of gift vouchers. There will also be a new, special award of £30.00 of vouchers to the Group of Neighbours, who have entered a themed display. Finally, the prize for the Visitors' Choice will be £50.00 of gift vouchers.

The judges will have their work cut out on the afternoon of Friday 3rd July!

The Rosettes Have Arrived

This year, our rosettes have been made by Rosettes Direct. They are luscious. Every competitor will receive a rosette.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Welcome, Claire Sapsford.

I am delighted to announce that Claire Sapsford, the Community and Audience Development Coordinator at Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Great Linford, will be be joining the panel of judges that will judge the scarecrow competitions on Friday 3 July. Claire replaces Mark Neil, who unfortunately cannot be with us on that occasion.  

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Loughton Giant

Two layers of papier mache in and the giant's head is firming up nicely. One more layer of papier mache and he should be ready for painting. Can't wait to start the assembly process!

Meet Big Bird

Here's Big Bird. She will be making her nest on top of the Loughton Giant's head!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Mr. Toad Drives Again!

The indomitable Mr. Toad has offered a ride in his sports car as a lot in the Gifts and Promises Auction, this time to the Last Classic Car Drive of the Season on Sunday 6th September 2015. If you would like an outing with popular Mr. Toad, but can't make that particular date, he will take a 'rain check' for a similar outing on another occasion.

Giant Scarecrow

I'm attempting to build a giant scarecrow to add something new to this year's festival. I've started with the face, because if that does not work, the project is doomed. Here's stage one. The head, modelled in clay over a plastic and paper base, is nearly two feet high. It is covered in cling film, ready to add the first layer of papier mache.
Further details to follow.

Lonely Scarecrow Quilt Finished

I've just finished the quilt that I've been making as either a Raffle Prize or a 'gift' for the Gifts and Promises Auction. Its taken a lot of work and time, but I think it will make an acceptable contribution to the Scarecrow Festival.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Green Fingered Pledge

Local garden expert Roger Blackburn has pledged three hours gardening to some lucky bidder at our Gifts and Promises Auction. So if your garden needs a little TLC, come along and bid for Roger's gardening expertise, and he will help your garden to bloom.

Thank You, Prune and Plant

Our local firm of gardeners, Prune and Plant, have generously donated a raffle prize this year, of a large bottle of a well known perfume. Prune and Plant, otherwise known as Roger and Zoe Costelloe offer garden design and construction, planting, advice, expert pruning and seasonal maintenance in the Milton Keynes area. They can design, renovate and/or maintain gardens to realise their full potential. Excellent service and professionalism are core to their business. They can be contacted via their website at