UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Widow resurrects old village tradition to lift spirits during lockdown

By October 2, 2020 No Comments
A figure representing a key worker is seen in a front garden, as various scarecrows lighten the daily lockdown walk, while the number of the coronavirus disease cases (COVID-19) grows around the world, in the village of Capel in southern Britain, April 26, 2020. Picture taken April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Scarecrows dressed up as key workers are brightening daily lockdown walks in a Surrey village.

Around 30 of the adult-sized stuffed figures have popped up in front gardens in Capel, about 30 miles south of London, in a bid to cheer people up during isolation.

The community is honouring many of the unsung heroes of the coronavirus pandemic in the quirky tribute, including police officers, postmen, farmers, rubbish collectors, as well as doctors and nurses.

A figure representing a key worker is seen in a front garden as various scarecrows lighten the daily lockdown walk, as the number of the coronavirus disease cases (COVID-19) grows around the world, in the village of Capel in southern Britain, April 26, 2020. Picture taken April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Date: 27/04/2020 08:47
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Image:A scarecrow represents a police officer in one front garden in Capel, Surrey
A figure representing a key worker is seen in a front garden, as various scarecrows lighten the daily lockdown walk, while the number of the coronavirus disease cases (COVID-19) grows around the world, in the village of Capel in southern Britain, April 26, 2020. Picture taken April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Image:Giant dolls representing key workers have lined the main street

The scarecrows are dressed up in a range of uniforms, complete with accessories including wigs, face masks, stethoscopes and surgical gloves.

“We needed to cheer up the village and get people to have a laugh as they went around on their daily exercise,” said Sally Wyborn, who came up with the idea.

The concept of giant dolls is not new to the village of Capel, with locals making them every summer to advertise a fete and open gardens.

However the village had not made them for nine years following the death of Ms Wyborn’s husband.

It was only when Britain went into lockdown on 23 March, putting a stop to social interactions with people, that Ms Wyborn had the idea to reintroduce the scarecrows to community life.

“In one of my mad moments, I suddenly thought why don’t we resurrect the scarecrows, everybody’s got time to make them,” the 78-year-old told Reuters.

A figure representing a key worker is seen in a front garden as various scarecrows lighten the daily lockdown walk, as the number of the coronavirus disease cases (COVID-19) grows around the world, in the village of Capel in southern Britain, April 26, 2020. Picture taken April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Image:NHS workers have been honoured in the quirky tribute

Word of the suggestion was put out on email and social media, and scarecrows soon lined the main street and side roads.

They will be there for the foreseeable future as Britons have little clarity on how and when the lockdown will be eased.

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Ms Wyborn added: “Until it’s all over. Leave them out until we come out of lockdown and then watch the party.”

Boris Johnson declared on Monday that the lockdown must stay in place and that he “cannot spell out now how fast, or slow, or when changes will be made”.

The prime minister said modifications would be announced in due course “with the maximum possible transparency”, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said people will have to get used to a “new normal” due to coronavirus – with social distancing measures set to remain in place for “some time”.

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