A long time ago in the deep mid-winter in a quiet street in Evington there was a meeting. The founding members of the Fete were moving far away and needed to find new people to run the Fete and Show. They had heard of a rather special couple called John and Pauline Sloan who might help. They knew it would be a challenge but hoped they could be persuaded and asked them to come to the meeting.
That was in 2005, and John and Pauline have been Chairman and Secretary for the last 13 years. We don’t know how they found the time, but are so glad they did. When all is said and done they only meant to stop for 20 minutes. They have done a brilliant job.
Sadly, it is time to say thank you and reluctantly let them retire from the Fete and ease up a little. Having said that, John is still heavily involved with Scouting and many other charities, and the Leicester Tigers and his garden and Pauline is still teaching the white art of sugar craft and involved in her card group, whilst still being our champion raffle ticket seller, and both of them help with their growing tribe of grandchildren.
They have weathered the storms, sometimes literally, over the years and brought together a great team of volunteers who have built the Fete and Show into what it is today. The marquee has grown to 5,000 square feet of space filled with most interesting displays of home produce, jams, vegetables, artwork, pictures, sewing and flowers; in fact, there are 109 classes to go for!
Pauline and John have encouraged, wheedled, bribed and strong-armed and threatened and even remunerated a whole host of people who have provided entertainment, played instruments, Punched & Judied, turned wood, spun wool, made honey, provided first aid, put up bunting, made and served epic amounts of tea and cake, marshalled, managed the site, danced and sung, and written beautifully, staged exhibitions and run raffles and tombola, lucky dipped and kept us healthy and safe.
The Sloans will be a hard act to follow, and we shall miss their cheerful, diplomatic and thoughtful input. But the Fete will go on and we know they will be there. And we hope to see you too – it’s on the 11th August – it will be fun.