Search

POLL: Best or worst job ever? North Norfolk’s living, accordion-playing, scarecrow

18:37 04 October 2012

Jamie Fox, the musical bird scarer, in his field in Aylsham.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Jamie Fox, the musical bird scarer, in his field in Aylsham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

Fantastic Mr Fox has got his eye on the birds at a north Norfolk farm.

But this Mr Fox isn’t licking his lips at the prospect of a fresh chicken dinner.

Instead, he’s wandering around a field near Aylsham, dressed in a hooded fluorescent-orange jacket, playing accordion music and clanging a cow bell with the aim of scaring away unwanted partridges.

Music and English graduate Jamie Fox, who grew up in Aylsham, is putting his instrumental skills to good use during a fortnight’s work as a living scarecrow.

Jamie, 22, who graduated from Bangor University in the summer, accepted the job offer to help him save towards a planned trip to New Zealand next year.

Music for scaring birds to

The combined wit and wisdom of the EDP’s journalists has come up with this suggested list of music Jamie Fox could play to frighten away the partridges. Can you suggest anything better?

● Bye, Bye Blackbird

● Anything from “Cats”

● Anything by the Black Crowes

● The Birdie Song

● Anything by the Partridge Family

● Pheasant Valley Sunday - Monkees

● Anything by Bob Marley and the Quailers

● If Only I Had A Brain - scarecrow song from the Wizard of Oz

● I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester - The Wurzels

● Run Rabbit, Run

● Fly Like An Eagle - Seal

● When Doves Cry - Prince

● Little Bird - Annie Lennox

● I’m Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado

● Ring My Bell - Anita Ward

He is half-way through the eight-hours-a-day stint, keeping a watchful eye over 10 acres of oil-seed rape which partridge find particularly tasty at its young and tender stage.

Farmer William Youngs said his enthusiastic employee was doing a “very good job”, saving thousands of pounds worth of crop from being spoiled.

Jamie bikes to work along the Marriott’s Way path, sets up his “office” - a deckchair - in the middle of the field, puts on the jacket, and spends his day reading, listening to podcasts and music, sketching, and doing sudoku puzzles - until he spots the enemy.

“I suppose you could call me field security,” he said. “If I look up and see partridge I get up and wave my arms about or ring the bell at them. I play the accordion mostly for my own pleasure. Piano is my main instrument, but I couldn’t get it on my bike.

Human bird scarer who became a Norfolk Labour MP

Jamie Fox is not the first north Norfolk man to start his working life as a human scarecrow.

Sir George Edwards OBE (1850-1933), born in Marsham, did not learn to read or write until he was an adult and went to work, aged six, for one shilling (five pence) a week scaring crows.

Edwards went on to found the Eastern Counties Agricultural Labourers’ and Small Holders’ Union, later known as the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers.

He was a member of Norfolk County Council, a magistrate and a county alderman and served as MP for South Norfolk from 1920-1922 and 1923-24.

“I borrowed the cow bell from home. There are six of us and it’s used as the dinner bell,” said Jamie, a former Aylsham High School pupil and son of Martyn Fox, auctioneer with Keys of Aylsham.

The highlights of Jamie’s day, apart from his packed lunch, are the peace, and the wildlife.

He’s seen deer, kestrel, plenty of partridge and, one morning while biking to work, an otter crossed the Marriott’s Way just a few feet in front of him.

But the job does have its downside. Jamie is often cold, despite wearing three layers of clothes, and has to run for shelter in nearby woodland whenever it rains.

4 comments

  • All you need now is an armchair and a standard lamp. Surely Dad Martyn Fox could rustle that up from Keys sales?! Keep up the good work Jamie! ps I think that some kind hearted fork lift driver could offer to collect your piano for you?

    Report this comment

    The Yarn Gardener

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Well Jamie, thinking what I could do to alleviate your cold digits, how about I knit you a nice blanket for you?

    Report this comment

    The Yarn Gardener

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • You could say "He's outstanding in his field !! "

    Report this comment

    crunchy dick

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • Willing to WORK. More people should be like this.

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Funeral cottage for former Sea Palling lifeboat coxswain and chairman Sam Sheldon through the village. Who died age 58 and given a seafaring send off at his funeral. Sam Sheldon was chairman and coxswain during his 27 years with the independently run rescue service.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Friends, family and colleagues of a respected lifeboatman and dedicated father who died aged 58 from cancer filled a coastal church for his funeral.

Tributes to Martha Seaward at Lodge Hill junction after the accident.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Council chiefs have ruled out a roundabout and pedestrian refuge at a busy junction where a 15-year-old girl was killed last year.

Tony Dickerson.

There will be a minute’s silence before all Anglian Combination matches on Saturday following the death of the league’s president, Tony Dickerson.

Firefighers were called to tackle a blaze in a 50-tonne straw stack on a north Norfolk farm.

Most Read

Sarah Long sets up a clothes shop from her living room called Queen Bee.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

For any household with three children under the age of 10, keeping the living room uncluttered can be a constant battle.

Read more
North Walsham
The new Amazona Zoo play area is named Rainforest Springs by local women Vikki Wright of Southrepps with her family from front to back Nicola, Lewis, William, George, Vikki and Darron Wright.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

It is known for its jaguars, pumas, ocelots, monkeys and snakes, but now Amazona Zoo in Cromer has launched a rather unusual attraction.

Read more
Tributes to Martha Seaward at Lodge Hill junction after the accident.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Council chiefs have ruled out a roundabout and pedestrian refuge at a busy junction where a 15-year-old girl was killed last year.

Read more
Norfolk County Council

Firefighers were called to tackle a blaze in a 50-tonne straw stack on a north Norfolk farm.

Read more
The Norfolk town of Aylsham which is expanding rapidly with new homes being built around the town. Market Square.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Like other market towns, Aylsham is facing the prospect of hundreds more families moving in to freshly-built homes eager to make the most of its rural charm. But with no petrol station, sought-after schools and a busy doctors’ surgery, some are worried the area will struggle to accommodate its new residents. SABAH MEDDINGS reports.

Read more
Norwich

Most Commented

The new Amazona Zoo play area is named Rainforest Springs by local women Vikki Wright of Southrepps with her family from front to back Nicola, Lewis, William, George, Vikki and Darron Wright.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

It is known for its jaguars, pumas, ocelots, monkeys and snakes, but now Amazona Zoo in Cromer has launched a rather unusual attraction.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today E-edition