“Well, I can do that” said a voice from back of the room and another voice said “I’ll volunteer too” and that was how it all got started. All the worry about whether we could run the Fete again this year evaporated. We had a new Chairman and a new Secretary and a new energy and direction.
That was last November and in the following nine months we met, drank tea (and coffee), ate far too many biscuits and cajoled, and begged and borrowed, and pleaded for raffle prizes, filled in forms, organized road closure, arranged insurance, booked security, did risk assessments, prepared first aid, booked a very good band, and a very good singer, and Punch & Judy, and “Have a Go Circus”, tied down the bouncy castle man, and wooed the Owls and paraded the Cadets, and washed the bunting, and typed and laminated signs and notices and menus and directions, thought about how many chairs and tables we needed, and what watts the PA system needed to be, and changed the date on last year’s display banners.
And in the middle of all this organizing good news comes and our application to the Ward Community Fund has been successful. It is an important contribution to the overall cost – and puts a smile on our Treasurer’s face! Thank you to our local councillors for their help and support.
And suddenly it’s the Friday before and the marquee arrives and the plots are marked out and it all comes together. Saturday morning dawns and the first stall holder arrives and the day begins. The Green soon fills with tents and displays and plants and people. The Blood Bikes arrive. The beekeeper and the willow weaver set up and before you can Yes to a cup of tea it’s gone 11 o clock and we need to clear the cars off the site. The Show tent hums with the deliberations of the judges. “Is there one called Len,” asks a lady, “it would be nice to get a ten”. Councillor Sood arrives and takes a moment to soak up the atmosphere before she declares the Fete open.
Refreshments in the Village Hall already have a small queue. The Parish Centre is open too for cake and tea. The calligraphy group in the church are sharpening their quills and there is great demand for bookmarks with grandchildren’s names beautifully inscribed thereon. St Denys is 800 years old next year and there is huge interest in colouring in pages which, when added to the rest, will make a unique picture of the church. David Letts is on later and isn’t it nice and cool in here whilst we wait. And that gives us a chance to admire the beautiful gold needlework in the Lady Chapel.
The Lutterworth Town Band set up in the arena, find their note and begin to play. They are followed by the Bakanalia Border Morris Dancers. Their make-up and costumes cause a small boy to stand and stare in wonder, not budging even when his mum offers an ice cream! Punch & Judy draws an excited crowd of children as the familiar story unfolds. And did you see the face painters work their magic?
The Show has 13 sections from fruit and veg to photographs with well over 300 entries vying for a First or even Best in Show. Jams have been tasted and cakes cut and awards made and the judges have decided. Everyone wants to know how they did and who won. “Perhaps it will be my picture in the Echo,” says a hopeful baker.
The weather holds and the chapel enjoys a steady stream of visitors to its exhibition of Evington past and present. The regular swings occupy the children waiting their turn on the bouncy castle with its super slide. The tombola sold out by 2.30 in spite of the fantastic response to our plea for donations with over 300 prizes large and small on offer. Raffle ticket sales were going well with four of us writing and folding – just write your name and number on the top and we will do the rest! There were 14 prizes and the odds were a million times better than the lottery – a big thank you to The Cedars for their support.
Anthony, the vicar, arrives to give the prizes and did you see Nigel the curate’s Harley Davidson? The winners are called and the photographs are taken. There will be a list on the website and here in the Echo. The day winds down and the last ice cream is sold. The “port-a-loos” and tents and marquee and stalls all pack up and go. The tables and chairs are stacked and collected. We check the field for litter – hardly any – thank you everyone for being so tidy.
It was a very good day and lots of people came and we had nice feed-back at the end. A lot of people said “see you next year” and we hope you will. We have a new Chairman and a new Secretary and will have a new Treasurer next year but still need more help. Would you like to be part of the team? It is fun and everything is shared and no-one has too much to do.
There aren’t many opportunities when a whole community can and does come together so splendidly – well over a thousand local families, young and old enjoyed this year’s gathering. It truly is a village fete and show.
Our AGM is on November 7th and being held at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, behind St Denys Church when we shall be saying farewell to both Anna Meadows who has run the refreshments in the Village Hall for many years and to Richard Webb who wrote this article and who has been a stalwart member of the fete committee since its start. Please come and find out how it all works and join us. Many hands make light work!
Contact Chris Hossack on 0116 2415153 or firstname.lastname@example.org