A small selection of images of Covid Scarecrows collected by Dr David Clarke during the May Bank Holiday from Stannington on the Western fringe of Sheffield.
“I was out for a walk with my wife in late May in the Loxley Valley and we climbed the hill up towards Stannington and when we reached a back road we saw what appeared to be a person sitting on the top of a high stone wall. We watched as we climbed the hill and I thought this was an unusual person as they hadn’t moved for ages. It was only when we got close I realised that this was actually quite an elaborate decorated scarecrow. Sporting a tartan hat, dark sun glasses, bright red lipstick and fluorescent pink socks, all decked off with a flower garland and a ‘Support the N.H.S.’ rainbow hanging around its neck (see the far left image above). As we walked further into the village and along the main street we saw more and more scarecrows and increasingly elaborate designs and I believe a number of them have been subsequently photographed and featured in the local paper, the Sheffield Star.“
“It’s interesting how these and other scarecrows that appeared during the original lockdown and shortly afterwards have been decorated and the themes that have been used. Alongside the omnipresent rainbows and the showing of support for N.H.S. and care sector workers there has also been the appearance of heroes and villains with Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings masks appearing on scarecrows alongside representations of Captain Tom Moore the veteran solider who raised millions for the N.H.S. These are all interesting themes that are being played out through these local displays which seek to both provide entertainment but also personal and political commentary during Corvid.”
This commentary is taken from a Podcast entitled: Folkloric Customs in the Time of Covid-19 (available HERE) recorded by CCL’s Dr David Clarke and Andrew Robinson for the 2020 Festival of The Mind (see HERE) and the Off The Shelf Festival of Words (See HERE).
A collection of images of scarecrows on the streets of Calow, Chesterfield photographed by Andrew Rodgers during May 2020. As can be seen from the central image residents were encouraed to create scarecrows to brighten up the streets of Calow and “everyone’s daily walks”.
The majority of Scarecrows feature N.H.S. and healthcare workers of made humorous reference to the pandemic (such as the judo scarecrow preparing to fight the virus), Union Jacks and the flag of St. George were also popular motifs, probably as the festival too place close to V.E. day but also as an expression of national resilience against the virus.
Special thanks to Andrew Rodgers for contributing the photographs and for permission to reproduce them here.
Above are a selection of images of Covid Rainbows collected by Diane A. Rodgers of the Centre for Contemporary Legend during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020 while on daily walks around the Crosspool and Fulwood areas of Sheffield, S10.
An impromptu mini Scarecrow festival was organised by residents of Valley Mews and friends in to give thanks to care workers and entertain children on their daily walks.