Alternate Flamstead festival to take place after death saw usual summer event cancelled

The Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

An alternate village festival is set to take place after a death saw the usual summer offering cancelled.

Organisers of the Flamstead Scarecrow Festival felt forced to abandon their 18th annual event after the death of 71-year-old Christine Ford sent shockwaves through the village.

Her body was discovered inside her home on Flamstead's High Street on July 27, just weeks before the festival was due to begin on August 9.

Brian Coote has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court for a plea and case management hearing on October 18.

Friends of St Leonard's Church, who organise the popular scarecrow event each year, have now announced the Flamstead Autumn Fayre will take place instead.

Chair of Friends of St Leonard's Church, Mark Jenkin, said: "We were very sad to have cancelled the Scarecrow Festival over the summer, but it was the best decision to make at the time.

"We still wanted to run an event this year which shows off the best of our village community to those living outside of the village, and which also supports our bid for National Lottery Heritage funding for our church through participation from the general public."

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It has been organised in conjunction with the Flamstead Heritage group and supports a National Lottery Heritage funding bid to save St Leonard's Church.

The 12th century building is currently at risk of closure - it needs repair work to be structurally sound and weatherproof.

There will be displays of farm machinery through the ages, a selection of scarecrows from the Scarecrow Festival, a Church Heritage Trail Quiz, period costume and a Young People's Puppet Theatre at the Autumn Fayre.

Entertainment and refreshments will also be on offer.

Mark added: "Flamstead is a fantastic village to visit throughout the year, not just over the Scarecrow Festival weekend, and so we very much hope that those who would typically visit our village in August will come and support the Flamstead Autumn Fayre too."

The Flamstead Autumn Fayre will take place at St Leonard's Church from 12pm to 5pm on September 28 and 12pm to 4pm on September 29.