BAD weather knocked the stuffing out of this year’s Belbroughton Scarecrow Weekend.

The popular two-day village festival, which had to be postponed by a week this year to make way for the Velo Birmingham cycle race, went ahead on Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1.

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But wet weather caused difficulties on the makeshift field car parks - turning them into bogs and rendering them unusable.

Organisers even briefly decided on Sunday morning to cancel the second day of the event but big-hearted villagers Gaye and Roger Hadley stepped in to save the day and offered up their Church Farm grounds as an impromptu carpark.

Ian Pemberton, treasurer of the Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival committee, praised the couple for saving the fables and fairytales themed event and the villagers and visitors who supported the family fun weekend.

But he said profits would be down considerably on previous years and added: “The net effects of the bad weather and parking difficulties have had a drastic impact on takings - which have been absolutely decimated."

The event is usually a big fundraiser for village charities and good causes but Mr Pemberton said it is likely to only generate a “small profit” this time round.

He added: "It’s really hard, we’re really disappointed we didn’t make the money and we’re disappointed for those who came and didn’t get the festival they love.”

He said thousands of people still attended the event, which was this year named by leading attraction website Days Out With The Kids as the best event of its kind in the UK.

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As well as hundreds of handmade wurzels on display - the festival featured a host of family-friendly entertainment including children’s rides, stalls, live music and performances and the popular Rich Goodwin air stunt show.

Mr Pemberton said there were more entries than ever before in the out of town scarecrow competition which was won by children from Fairfield First School for their Pied Piper of Hamlin offering (pictured below).

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Plenty of imagination also went into the many scarecrows that were dotted around the village - with The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Crow-stian Anderson (pictured below) taking the best in show award.

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The Straw-cerer’s Apprentice complete with working waterfall netted the best interpretation of a theme award; an entry entitled Mirror Mirror was named most original scarecrow; while carefully crafted The Straw-toise and the Hare (pictured below) won the award for best technical/creative merit.

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Mr Pemberton said feedback from stallholders and "the buzz in the village was good” and he added: “The support of the community was brilliant.

"We thank everyone for their patronage and patience. It’s fantastic the level of support that we still received and how stoic the British are in the face of poor weather.

"It was great to see people mucking in to remove the stranded cars.”

He thanked those who helped out with tractors to pull vehicles out of the mud and said the committee would be “eternally grateful” to Mr and Mrs Hadley for providing an alternative parking site at the last-minute.

He said the committee would be discussing how to proceed with the event in future and said feedback from visitors and members of the public would be welcomed.

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