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It was my sister-in-law’s birthday last weekend, and to celebrate we stayed in The Olde Bull in Barton Mills and had a slap-up meal. The hotel was great, with funky decor in the rooms and good, local food – but as it was right next to the busy A11, I didn’t have high hopes for good flooking on Sunday morning.

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But I was wrong. There’s something about flooking that makes you look around you a bit harder. We spotted a little notice telling us that our little village, Barton Mills, has quite a bit going for it.

For a start, it was alive and well in 1086, when the population was recorded as 24. I also noticed that in the 1400s there was a population of 70 people and a total of 7 inns for them to drink at – whereas today there is a massive population of 940 people sharing just 1 pub and the hotel. So who says that Brits are drinking far more than they used to?

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We peeped at the cottage where a Lord Mayor of London lived in 1416 – bit of a commute, I thought, although perhaps the stagecoach was a bit faster than First Capital Connect’s trains.

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Sadly, it was only after I got home that I discovered that Barton Mills has a much greater claim to fame than any of these – it’s the holder of the Guinness World Record for the most scarecrows built at any one time. I shall have to go back to the annual Scarecrow Festival in July for a look.

How about you – what did you discover last weekend?

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