A SCARECROW which sparked a 999 emergency when a “dead body” was discovered near allotments has achieved more fame in a horticultural show.

Decorator Neil Maybury, 50, went on holiday safe in the knowledge his Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally scarecrows were guarding vegetables in his allotment but returned home to discover Worzel had been attacked.

“He was stolen from the allotments and found dumped behind them by a lady walking her dog,” he said.

“She thought she’d found a body. The police arrived, sirens and blue lights going, to discover it was a scarecrow.”

Neil spruced up Worzel and entered him for Hurst Horticultural Show’s new scarecrow contest last Saturday, August 20. Worzel beat 12 other entrants to first place and a silver cup.

The Earley decorator made his two scarecrows himself, sculpting their faces from plaster. Worzel has now returned to duty at the Bulmershe allotments.

Show chair Kathy Tuggey said: “The new scarecrow competition was a huge success. Another new class, won by Keith Attfield, was for a YouTube video on the theme ‘Perspectives on Hurst’.

“The standard of entries throughout the show was outstanding. The show is all about community spirit and team work.

“The lady who won the chocolate and orange cake class had never entered a show before: her cake was outstanding.

“People may feel nervous about entering but by doing so they find out what they can achieve.” Some 22 bakers had entered the class.

The show was pleased that the number of children taking part, 55, was 35 per cent higher than last year.

Retired advertising executive, Mac Stephenson of Hurst, was crowned winner of the men’s apple flan contest for the second time.

Former pupil at St Nicholas Primary School, Hurst, Isabel Tuggey, 20, of Sindlesham, won first prize for her painting of her grandfather, Norman Matthews, 89. She’s now doing a textile design degree at Leeds University.

Betty Smith of Hurst scooped up four silver trophies in the flower section. Her flowers were a big hit at the produce auction, helping raise over £200 for the horticultural society.