Heartless thieves snatched a highly decorated scarecrow from outside a home on Leeds Road, Scholes, on Sunday, just minutes after they were put on display as part of the village’s Open Gardens event.
It had taken retired postman Barry Walsh many hours to make the scarecrows in the image of Postman Pat and his cat, complete with authentic postman’s uniform.
Mr Walsh said: “My wife and I felt really deflated when we learned that the scarecrow had been stolen within half an hour of our putting it on display. We were in the house at the time but were unaware of it until a neighbour told us what had happened. It was very disappointing.”
Mr Walsh retired last year after 36 years with the Post Office and dressed the scarecrow in an old Post Office uniform, using his original badges which had sentimental value. The scarecrow was tied down outside the house.
Stunned witnesses saw two youths in a small silver car leap out, grab the scarecrow and quickly drive off.
Villager Karen Dales, of Main Street, Scholes, told the Wetherby News: “Two youths were seen bungling Postman Pat into the back of a small silver car, just after he was put out on Sunday.
“If anybody finds him we would like him back, with his black and white cat as they took that, too.”
West Yorkshire Police are hunting for the two youths responsible for the theft, which has angered Scholes residents.
“I am extremely disappointed that this happened,” says Coun Ben Hogan, chairman of Scholes in Bloom. “Volunteers go to a lot of trouble creating scarecrows to display during our Open Gardens day and I feel very sorry for Barry.”
Around 30 scarecrows, some of them arranged in themed groups, were made by Scholes residents for display outside their homes as part of Scholes in Bloom’s bi-annual open gardens event.
It is such a popular event that visitors travel from as far away as Manchester and many parts of Yorkshire. An estimated 600 people toured the open gardens.
Anyone with any information should contact West Yorkshire Police on 0113 285 5374.
l For pictures of the scarecrows on show and more on Scholes in Bloom turn to page 19.