Here at SevenStreets we have something of a yen for the macabre, the eerie and uncanny.

We also like cake stalls, second-hand books and outdoor tai chi, though, so the Waterloo Autumn Festival and Scarecrow Competition was right up our, er, alleyway.

Certainly, the cornerstone of this community event was the scarecrow competition, with dozens of entries from many local schools and families; but there was enough going on to please people of all ages in the lovely marine gardens.

Cake, chocolate and soap stalls for the grown-ups; face-painting and generic mess-making for the younger ones; and refreshments and a book stall for everyone.

SevenStreets made off with a couple of cricket hardbacks, a wonderful old natural history book and Nigel Slater’s autobiography-by-food book Toast for a couple of quid.

It was nice to see some al fresco tai chi going on too, in the wonderful bog garden. And whoever tires of looking at massive pumpkins? Not us.

For anyone who’s ever attended a village or church fete, none of this perhaps, would be a revelation. In such tight-knit areas it’s common to see such sights.

But for a city suburb to look after the gardens and stage such a well-attended event was heartening in the extreme. In an era where a Big Society gimmick is being touted by the current government, it’s nice to see the real deal in action in Liverpool.

Take in the marine lakes, Another Place and the new watersports activity centre and Waterloo is looking a great choice for a family day out.

As for the scarecrows; well, the ones that looked like they could come alive and start wreaking bloody havoc were our favourite, but they all had either skill or wit in abundance.

JedWood (pictured, left), like some novelty-act hydra, was a definite highlight, but they were all winners in our book.

More scarecrows

The Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens

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