Whitworth Rushcart and Scarecrow Festival prove fantastic successes
15th September 2011
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Last weekend saw the culmination of the first ever Whitworth Scarecrow Festival, and the advent of the town’s annual Rushcart celebrations.

The SCARECROW FESTIVAL saw 73 official entries displayed along the length of the town for a week from 5-11 September, produced by residents, churches, schools, businesses and community organisations.  Over 100 official trail maps were dished out with many more downloaded online.  Entries ranged from the inventive to the downright bizarre, and the attention to detail was outstanding.  The winners, announced at the Rushcart on Sunday, were as follows:

Category: General Public

Joint winners: ‘Dorothy’, 91 Tonacliffe Road, and ‘A Reet Regal Do’, 11 Sandbank Gardens
3rd: ‘Michael Jackson – Top of the Crops’, 7 Cottesmore Close

Category: Children

Winner: ‘The Gruffalo’, 46 Daneswood Avenue
2nd: ‘Spongebob’, 7 Daneswood Fold
3rd: ‘Captain Underpants’, 9 Cowm Park Way South

Category: Organisations

Winner: ‘The bells, the bells!’ St Bartholomew’s Church, Whitworth Rake
2nd: ‘The Courtroom’, Turner March LLP Solicitors, Market Street
3rd: ‘Dame Edna Crow’, Riddiough Court, Hall Street

Unlike the Scarecrow Festival, Sunday’s RUSHCART celebrations were blessed with reasonably good weather.  Following the procession through the town, the celebrations on the Riverside car park included performances from the eight morris dance troupes and the Whitworth Vale and Healey Band, plus stalls, rides and other entertainments.  On offer was real ale named Grogan’s Delight, in memory of Honorary Whitworth Townsman Jimmy Grogan, which sold out.  Attendance was estimated at around 1,200 to 1,500 people over the course of the day.

Councillor David Chorlton, chair of the Whitworth Tourism and Leisure Committee which organised the event, says: “The Scarecrow Festival and Rushcart were the culmination of 12 months of extremely hard work for the Committee, and we were delighted with the way things went.  The Scarecrow Festival surpassed everyone’s expectations, both with the standard and number of entries – thanks to all who took part and took the time to visit the displays.  And the Rushcart was, again, a brilliant day.  The Committee sends sincere thanks to all who helped on the day, including the Police, the Rushcart stallholders, and the staff at the Riverside who worked tirelessly.  Special thanks as always go to Clive Morton, the heart and soul of the Rushcart, whose input is invaluable.”

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Kathryn B

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