Kurrajong Straw-billies

This Scarecrows in Motion display was created for the 2008 Kurrajong Scarecrow Festival. It was based on the characters in the classic old 1960s TV show, The Beverly Hillbillies. The display included five life-sized scarecrows (three with animation) and a quaint replica of a 'moonshine' still that billowed clouds of smoke. The Kurrajong Straw-billies were set up in an authentic 1930 Model A Ford truck. A sound track based on theme songs from the TV series accompanied the animation. It took four weeks to create this display.

beverly hillbilly scarecrows

This display was presented under the banner of the Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society and was set up and displayed with the valued assistance of society members. The wonderful Model A Ford truck that carried the display belongs to society member, Bryan Wyborn.

In keeping with the interests of the Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society, we used this display to depict, in a humorous way, a pioneering family of the Kurrajong district of NSW. Early families that settled in the district had to live off the land and use the resources of the land to survive. So the display included a kerosene lamp, camp cooking equipment and a still for distilling crude alcoholic drinks. Also essential to hunt game for food were a double barrelled shot gun and a dog.

A wide array of Australian animals were also featured in the Kurrajong Straw-billies display to represent the close association between these early pioneering families and the Australian bushland. beverly hillbilly scarecrows

When the display was in full operation, smoke billowed from the top of Granny's moonshine still and from Granny's gigantic double barrelled shot gun.

beverly hillbilly scarecrows
elly May and granny scarecrows
Photo by Paul Hulbert
granny scarecrow
Photo by John Wagner

The Kurrajong Straw-billies

Meet the Kurrajong Straw-billies scarecrows:

Jed Clampett, a good natured family man, headed this Kurrajong Straw-billies clan.

Photo by John Wagner

jed clampett scarecrow
Feisty old Granny or Daisy Moses sat in her rocking chair in the back of the truck. Elly May stood behind Granny to rock her back and forth in time with the music.
Granny moses scarecrow
Dim witted, Jethro Bodine, in his bright checkered shirt sat in the driver's seat of the Model A Ford.
jethro bodine scarecrow
Voluptuous Elly May Clampett, with her masses of golden curls, stood behind Granny's rocking chair in the back of the truck. Standing with her feet 1.2 m above the ground, Elly May's tall figure, with its radiant hair glowing in the sunshine, could be seen for a long distance through the town.
elly may clampett scarecrow
Duke, the hunting dog, helped to provide food for this pioneering family.
duke the dog scarecrow

elly may clampett and granny

Granny held her oversized double barrelled shot gun ready for action! Granny warned the audience, 'You want to tangle with me?!' Beside Granny was her elaborate moonshine still and bottles of XXX brewed grog. There was an early record of a 'sly grog shop' at Little Wheeny Creek in the Kurrajong district. This would have used a still to brew whisky.

Here are some of the Australian animals featured in the Kurrajong Straw-billies display:







The Kurrajong Straw-billies go to Town

The Kurrajong Straw-billies scarecrows entertained the crowds in the main street of Kurrajong on Saturday 25th October 2008. Then on the Sunday, we started up the old truck. With lots of cheering and clapping, and a toot of the horn, the truck loaded up with the Kurrajong Straw-billies chugged its way down the main street of Kurrajong Village.

hillbilly scarecrows go to town
Scarecrow, Jethro, was shifted to the back of the truck while Bryan Wyborn took the driver's seat to chauffeur the Kurrajong Straw-billies to the park in his Model A Ford.
model a ford and scarecrows
Photo by John Wagner
scarecrows in motion
Photo by Paul Hulbert
scarecrows in motion
Photo by John Wagner

Granny and her shot gun rocked in the rocking chair on the back of the truck; the kerosene lantern swung from the tailgate; the koalas and possums clung to the sides; and the kookaburra perched jauntily on top of the windscreen throughout the trip.

When the truck finally came to a big stop at the bottom of the hill, the crowd clambered over it for a special Kurrajong Scarecrow Festival photograph.

scarecrow display in park
Photo by Paul Hulbert

The Kurrajong Straw-billies scarecrow display was voted the best display in the 2008 Kurrajong Scarecrow Festival by the people of Kurrajong.

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