Scarecrow festival returns to Seil

Seil is getting scarecrow ready for this summer's tattybogle festival starting on July 23.

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Tattybogle fun returns to Seil this summer.

Islanders are getting their thinking hats on, ready to come up with new ideas for the week-long event starting on July 23.

Organisers are inviting everyone on Seil to create their own straw-filled work of art to put outside their homes at the start of the festival so visitors can follow a trail.

Ken Jones with his Tattybogle pal created by other festival volunteer Allan Coutts

The island’s first scarecrow festival raised thousands of pounds for the island hall development fund – boosted even more by a generous £4,000 donation as a thanks for all the fun from an American family who had visited.

An invite to come back for this year’s festival will soon be winging its way in the post to the family, said Ron Hetherington, who is one of the volunteers making plans for the 2022 event.

A taste of what is to come includes a quiz night at the Oyster bar in Ellenabeich on the first Friday night, cinema screenings in Seil Hall for youngsters and adults, a thanksgiving church service on Sunday July 25 and a pop-up cafe, also in the hall, throughout the whole week from 10am to 4pm.

Plans are also being made to bring back the popular heritage and nature tours; craft and story-telling sessions will be featured; there will be a five-a-side challenge for pub teams, gents and ladies on the first Sunday and on the final Saturday of the festival; there will be a Highland fair with stalls, a tug-of-war, lots of other activities and a dog show.

More details will come as the date nears, said Ron, who was outside Balvicar Stores last week putting up a giant scarecrow made by Allan Coutts.

Wendy Dugdale from Balvicar Stores is sponsoring the festival’s five-a-side event this year.

As well as scarecrows scattered around Seil, a home-grown brass band will also be popping up at random locations during the week for extra entertainment.

‘We’re looking forward to seeing how creative Seil people can get with their scarecrows. The last festival will be hard to beat but we can do it,’ added Ron.

Seamus Anderson, chairman of the Seil Island Hall Committee, said the festival would help to kickstart fundraising after Covid.

‘Covid took the steam out of it but we’re back on track now and we are making progress again. We’re nearly ready to have drawings and updated costings done.

‘As life returns to normal at our wonderful existing hall, we’re seeing just how much we need to expand to make it even more suitable to fill the demands of all that our users from our vibrant community are asking of us,’ he said.