A COUPLE who created a giant Bagpuss sculpture for their local scarecrow trail are handing over their model to the highest bidder.

Paul and Emma Simmons invited people to bid on Bagpuss, with all proceeds going towards St Francis Animal Welfare in Fair Oak. 

The pair, who live on a sanctuary farm in Owslebury, spent four days making the much-loved children’s TV series cat, with Paul putting his woodwork trade to use while Emma did most of the sculpting and spray painting.

At 1.7m in height and width the husband-and-wife team had to get a horse box to transport the scarecrow to its spot near St Andrew’s Church in Owslebury, where Bagpuss was one of 39 scarecrows in the kids’ TV character trail on display throughout May half-term.

Hampshire Chronicle: Bagpuss inside the horse box

READ MORE: Owslebury Scarecrow Trail has more than 40 TV characters

Paul, 47, said: “We were so chuffed, the result was fantastic. It was definitely bigger than expected. We’ve had a brilliant response with lots of people, without knowing that we made him, saying that Bagpuss was their favourite.

“He also had interactive elements, with talking tiles that we programmed to play the theme tune.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Bagpuss: Before and after a mouse was stolen

Along with the giant straw cat, the highest bidder will get the accompanying mice. However, on Thursday, June 1 one of the three mice, referred to as the “glueing mouse” was stolen and is yet to be found.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Paul and Emma Simmons with their Bagpuss scarecrow. Image: Jason Brown photography

Image by Jason Brown Photography.

Speaking ahead of the auction results, Paul said: “It did taint it a little bit and was the talk of the village for a while but we repositioned the two remaining mice and it hasn’t taken away from the experience.

“We’re animal lovers. We live on a sanctuary farm and we have rescued dogs, horses, goats, sheep, cats, ducks, chickens and a donkey. We’ve helped St Francis Animal Welfare before and they’re doing great work and they deserve all the help they can get.

“We’ve had one bid of £100 and we’d be very happy if that was the final offer especially since it is from a lovely family who only live across the road. But at the same time we’d like to raise good funds and get more bids for the charity.”

Bidding opened on Sunday, June 4 and closed at 9.30pm on Monday, June 5, with Bagpuss being delivered to Osborne School, a special education school in Winchester, on Tuesday, June 6 following the winning bid of £200 by an Owslebury resident.