Penparcau Community Forum was announced today as the winners of the Mentrau Iaith’s Scarecrow Showdown competition. 

The national competition was held by the Mentrau Iaith this year to reward scarecrows that portrayed Wales and Welshness. Competitors were encouraged to reuse and recycle what they already had in their houses or sheds and be as creative as possible. 

Staff at Penparcau Community Forum, Aberystwyth, came up with models of children in Welsh traditional costume under the famous words of the Football Association of Wales – ‘Together Stronger’ for the Hwb, the home of the Forum. Clare Jackson, the Forum’s Conversations Officer, says; 

“We thought it [the scarecrow] would make an excellent contribution to the Hwb’s new community garden and Bee garden facilitated by the Penparcau Planting Project. We are always looking at ways to support the Welsh language at the Hwb so this was an opportunity not to be missed to promote everything Welsh and bring a smile to the residents in the village. Children inspire hope and laughter, can embrace change and display compassion in a way we sometimes lose when we become adults which is why they were the inspiration. 

Creating scarecrows is a popular competition at small local shows across the country, but with these shows cancelled or postponed throughout Wales this year, the Mentrau wanted to run this competition to cheer up communities across Wales with an opportunity for people of all ages to get involved. 

Gwyneth Broadmeadow, 71, from Glan Conwy, came second with a scarecrow of a harpist playing her harp and Betsi Payne, aged 9, from Pembrokeshire came third with her version of Ken ‘the Sheriff’ Owens.

Gwyneth Broadmeadow says: 

“Fame at last at age 71! I hit upon the idea because of the harpist my daughter plays the harp, which is stored at our house. But then I decided that would be too big so made my own. It was useful to have the strings to hold the arms in place. It doesn’t represent anyone that I know but I was keen to depict a musician who is passionate about the Welsh harp and I hope I succeeded. I enjoyed making her, and I’ve named her Morfudd. 

Betsi Payne says: 

“The family are big fans of the Scarlets rugby team so who else but Ken Owens to transform into a Bwgan Brain! We’re a big fan of the Scarlets and Ken. We chose Ken as he is the Sheriff of the West, a very familiar name and face to everyone in Wales and the passion he shows while singing the anthem before rugby internationals shows how Welsh he is!” 

Broadcaster and presenter Ifan Jones Evans, who is familiar with the importance of agricultural shows to communities, received 10 scarecrows to judge in the final round. 

The winner receives a unique Bwgan Brain painting from Oriel Odl.