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Last updated: Mon 2 Jun 2014

Nunney scarecrows exhibition

Visit Nunney’s exhibition on child labour and education in 19th century Nunney has been hailed as a huge success and is now available online.

Nunney scarecrows exhibition

Sir George Clausen (1852-1944), “Bird-scaring”, 1887

The exhibition was organised by Visit Nunney in association with the Nunney Flower Show Committee and Friends of Nunney Church.

Churchwarden Dr Mary Lynch-Staunton said, “The exhibition has been a huge success, with a lot of visitors commenting how good it was. It has generated some generous donations for the roof.”

The theme was chosen because ‘Scarecrows’ is the theme of the 2014 Nunney Open Gardens Day. It was not unusual for children as young as 5 to be expected to work as a bird-scarer until the end of the 19th century. This involved running around the field to scare off the birds from sunrise to sunset 7 days a week, whatever the weather.

This often meant that they missed out on any meaningful education. Working on the farm from too young an age also meant that many grew up bow-legged and with crippling pains.

Miraculously, there is a lot of detailed information specific to Nunney available. The exhibition draws on this to show the struggle to establish proper education in Nunney and end child labour.

Nunney Scarecrows exhibitionThe exhibition is illustrated with dozens of rare early photographs of Nunney. The story of the Nunney scarecrows is also set out in more detail in a series of articles on this website.

The exhibition opened on Nunney Open Gardens Day in June and was on display in Nunney Church until Sunday 7 September. For those who missed it, it is available online:

Nunney Scarecrows – Child labour and education in 19th century Nunney

The display materials for this exhibition were kindly donated by Andy Whiting of Rage Displays in Bristol. This means that the church will be able to mount future exhibitions.

Ultimately, there are plans to create a visitor and heritage centre in the church as part of a planned upgrade of its facilities.

Nunney Scarecrows exhibition

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