A popular village scarecrow festival returned after a four-year break with the added attraction of a well known author visiting to launch a ‘book exchange’.
Dunston last held its Scarecrow Festival in 2014 and the event was revived this year, taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
Organiser Sue Glaister said people could collect a scarecrow trail map and quiz for the children from St Peter’s Church before heading out to enjoy spotting creations dotted around the village.
She said: “It went very well - especially in the Saturday sunshine. We had 34 scarecrows officially, but extra ones appeared on the day.”
There were refreshments and stalls at the village with music by the Silver Sounds brass band outside.
The winning scarecrow was judged to be the fantastic ‘Bits and Bob’ by the Banister family who created Bob Marley and his band from old car parts that could move and perform to music when passers by pressed a button.
On the Saturday afternoon, Karen Maitland, formerly of Lincoln and an author of a number of medieval thrillers such as The Plague Charmer, officially opened the village’s ‘Book Exchange’ and gave an interesting talk.
The amenity has been created out of the old red phone box opposite the village hall. It is crammed with around 200 books from floor to ceiling and is now owned by the parish council.
The idea originated from the little village’s book club, explains Mrs Glaister: “We felt the phone box was an iconic image and were aware of other villages which have done something similar. It was more about how we could make best use of that facility and a love of reading.”
People pop in and donate a book and can take another in return and it has been quickly embraced by villagers.
She said: “We sought donations to help renovate it, which was done by a local tradesman.
“We have adult and children’s books and a section on local walks.”