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THIS WEEK Information on Pevensey Bay in the 1930s, can anyone help identify the locations?


FEATURE Bay Hotel chosen to host Goons Show element of pilot Arts and Literature festival


BUSINESS *** BREAKING NEWS: Pevensey Bay village beats the developers

In the sweltering heat, Scarecrow 17 launched today (Saturday 8 July) with a wonderful barbecue on the corner patio of the Bay Hotel, courtesy of new owner Karen Hudson.—Bay Life, 8 July 2017

Led to the scene by human scarecrow, Dave Russell, we witnessed a buzz as the burgers were flipped with a knot of people gathering to enjoy what was on offer.

The annual scarecrow festival, now in a third incarnation, draws visitors from all over the locality to join the fun, photograph the scarecrows and get involved in all the events.

The barbecue, complete with human scarecrow Dave Russell, was a perfect way to kick off the festival and as the able staff at the Bay Hotel served the growing crowd, we managed to grab a word with new owner Karen Hudson.

Karen told us, “I have only been here nine weeks”, as she sweltered in the heat, serving as she spoke.

Asked how she felt, looking as if she had been on duty for hours in preparation for the launch, she looked up at us, clearly labouring in the heat, with the warmth of a smile that filled the patio area with a perfect Pevensey Bay one liner.

“It just is”, she said, grinning from ear to ear, and in spite of all the hard work, clearly enjoying every minute.

Dave Russell, the human scarecrow employed his characteristic wit and gravitas, we noted.

Dave, who last year took up an ad hoc role as our business brand ambassador for Pevensey Bay as the human scarecrow for the festival, working with ace director/you tube producer Sharon Clark, found his ratings on YouTube soar to 18,000 people, with a walk part on Meridian TV news, seen by another half million people.

Looking back to his business ambassador role for Pevensey Bay last year and a Hollywood style photoshoot, he cued himself in for the money shot with the brand name Bay Hotel as his backdrop as the smart cameras rolled.

Did he have have anything to say to his 18 thousand fans on YouTube for the launch of Scarecrow 17?

Twinkling as always in the role, that has led to his bestowal as the brand ambassador for Pevensey Bay, the wit and banter was again in evidence.

As seen last year by everyone aged 8-80 that shook his hand and asked for a signed autograph, he was, as ever in character and ready to deliver his show stopping lines.

Grinning and with a wink to Bay Life he said, “still looking for my Aunt Sally”.

Where did you get that hat? The costume, we have to say this year, that Dave Russell is wearing for his role as the human scarecrow, is straight out of the top drawer of a skilled seamstress.

Could have been created for a West End show, which is, we understand is pretty close to where the costume started. From head to foot, the hands of a mistress seamstress at work we do believe, in the sewing of the classic costume

Brilliant start to the proceedings and launch of Scarecrow 17.

With an inspired theme of ‘be yourself’ from the organsiers, Peveney Villages Partnership, we already have a hit on our hands.

The scarecrows are now very much launched and growing in number by the hour for all to see along the Eastbourne Road and everywhere elsewhere.

In the place where some of the Goons scripts were written, during the summer holidays here of Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan in the mid and late fifties, and exactly in the place where we saw the Peter Sellers home movie turn the corner into the Eastbouren Road in his 1961 film shown on BBC Arena, we saw Scarecrow 17 launch.

Being ourselves, a scarecrow festival, an anarchic human scarecrow with spontaneous wit and banter and the words of Karen Hudson, new owner of the Bay Hotel, everything just seemed to fit the bill.

Perhaps the best film in his existential canon was the perfect Peter Sellers classic ‘Being There”. His ashes are buried under a rosebush, plot #39802 in Golders Green cemetary. A plaque at the plot marks the words that he wanted people to see. These words are ‘Life is state of mind”. taken from the film ‘Being There’.

The spontaneous words of new owner of the Bay Hotel, Karen Hudson, look as if they have stepped straight out of the script on the corner of the Eastbourne Road.

Spot on, welcome to The Scarecrow Festival 17, it just is.

Wind the clock forward from the Goons and in the next showreel you get Monty Python, with the footlight boys paying homage.

Of course if we told you that racing into the scene in the Sea Road car park was an ice cream van playing the Monty Python theme tune on cue, you would tell us that we made up that bit at the end, just to make the story of the perfect scene settings launch of Scarecrow 17 here in Pevensey Bay.

Except of course witnesses will verify if this really happened. There really was an ice cream van and the van really did play the Monty Python theme in the Sea Road car park.

In the sweltering heat, the curtain is now has up on Scarecrow 17.

Welcome to Scarecrow 17, with Karen Hudson, the entire cast of the Bay Hotel and human scarecrow business brand ambassador for Pevensey Bay, Dave Russell, now fitted to perfection with everyone sizzling in the heat and summer sun here in Pevensey Bay.

Have fun in the sun and do not forget to apply your own facepaint. It is scorchio, scorchio.

Already the smile and crease lines on all our faces have started to appear . The scarecrows are beginning to emerge on main roads through the villages.

It just is.

Scarecrow 17, organised by the Pevensey Villages Partnership, takes place between 8—22 July 2017.

IMAGE CREDIT: Barbara Drake

Simon Montgomery
editor, Bay Life