ECCHINSWELL’S build-a-beast competition reached a climax on Saturday, with a grand parade of ‘beasties’ through the village, before the winners were announced.
The new occupants of Ecchinswell gardens were raising a smile last week, with some 12 highly-imaginative creations on display – including a giant beastie outside The Royal Oak pub, and a further six made by the under-14s.
A corresponding mini-beast competition held by Ecchinswell and Sydmonton Primary School attracted a further 24 entries.
On Saturday, the beasties rose up, making their way through the village to the school, for a grand parade, before the winners were announced at the school’s successful summer fair, which raised more than £1,500 towards its £7,500 adventure playground.
In the adult competition, the winners were Greg and Sarah Lilleystone, who came joint first with Maddy Miles for their lion and flying pig respectively.
Third was Jo and Jerry Cobb with their Super Bear.
Tracey and Luke Kingdom’s Bunny Catcher was highly commended.
The mini-beast winners were Mack Cobb and Sebastian Gordon, both six, who came joint first.
Second was Penny Childs, aged five, and third Tasha Wherry, aged eight.
A special prize went to Jonah Stacey, aged four. All the children’s entrants were awarded a prize owing to a very high standard overall.
Primary school headteacher Sharon Pole said she was very pleased with the standard of entries.
The announcement of the winners followed intense judging the day before by three judges including the landlady of The Royal Oak, Laura Webb, villager Simon Gordon, who also entered the competition, and NWN Hampshire reporter Jane Meredith. Choosing winners proved extremely difficult owing to the very high standard of entries.
The Lilleystone’s Lion ‘Wilf’ was fashioned from an old sofa and a shower mat, and came with a ‘washing lion [line]’ of bunting spelling out the words: “I voted re-mane.”
It was inspired by their four-year-old son, Tim, who used to mispronounce washing line “and I thought it was such a lovely image,” said Mrs Lilleystone.
The school’s summer fair included a human table top football game, raffle and tombola and other games including flying frog and skittles.