VISITORS may have mistaken Blackrod for the Land of Oz as the village celebrated its eighth annual Scarecrow Festival.

Hundreds of people took advantage of the sunshine to cast their eye over 116 colourful scarecrows, which were dotted around the village on Saturday and Sunday.

Businesses, residents and schoolchildren all took part in the fun, and some of the scarecrow creations included two large-scale minions from the Despicable Me film, an Addams family themed effort, as well as a Blackrod’s Got Talent display, featuring the judges from the hit TV show.

But not all of the scarecrows were static.

Some revellers had a fright when they realised that there was a real life scarecrow, in the shape of Craig Parkinson who was dressed as Worzel Gummidge, complete with his bike which he put together himself.

The 52-year-old, of Coniston Road, said: “This is the fourth year I have done it. It has taken months to get ready for this, and it’s been a lot of hard work.

“I made the back of the bike with old floorboards, and did all the writing on it myself. It is worth it just to see people’s reactions, it is an amazing event.”

Another scarecrow on show was outside Flounders chippy, which had an exercise theme, with a scarecrow sitting on an exercise bike, as well as gym equipment being laid out on the pavement.

Coleen Whelan, who works at the chippy, said: “When the scarecrow had finished his workout on the bike he could come in and have some chips as a reward.”

Among the varied efforts, one scarecrow may have been very familiar to residents of Blackrod.

The village Mayor, Beryl Monaghan, was immortalised in her very own scarecrow outside the library.

She said: “I think it is a great likeness, it looks like me more than I do!”

And Bolton West MP Julie Hilling admitted she was a bit jealous of the Mayor, as she had not been given the honour of having her own scarecrow.

She said: “You know you have made it when you get a scarecrow of yourself made.

“It is a fabulous event which brings the whole community together.”

Organiser Jean Hibbert said she had been dazzled with the time and effort that people had gone to in order to make the two-day festival a success.

She said: “It is just amazing, we have had so many new designs this year, I don’t know how people come up with them.

“People have been planning it for months, and during the darkness of winter they must think of what they will do at the festival in the summer.”

The Bolton News:

Ged Fogg, right, and his son Richard with their builder scarecrow

The Bolton News:

Phantom motorcyclist by Dave Brown

The Bolton News:

A mechanic scarecrow works on a car.

The Bolton News:

She shall go to the ball.

The Bolton News:

This scarecrow is supporting the British Heart Foundation

The Bolton News:

Ethan Cross, aged two, meets Marge Simpson at Hawkshaw Gala