The annual Longdown village fete was blessed with warmth and sunshine this year – a particular blessing as June was otherwise a cool and often damp month. As all fete organisers know good weather is the key to getting people to turn out on a Saturday afternoon with children, parents and friends in the expectation of cream teas, cold beer, Pimms and strawberries, cakes and other tempting treats – and fun and games with ones neighbours. We anxiously watched the weather forecast and crossed our fingers as soaring temperatures and dry conditions became increasingly likely and we weren’t disappointed.
This year the fete was held, unusually, at the Village Hall. The organisers wanted the chance to show off the newly renovated bar and the newly surfaced children’s play area as well as to remind people what an excellent resource the Village Hall is with its versatile space and roomy car park. Using the Hall also meant we could offer skittles and an indoor tea room with lots of seating. Chief organisers were Jane and Andy Booth who planned everything down to the last detail and have been working on it for months. Their meticulous schedule showed in the success of the event and the gratitude of the team of helpers – we all had our tasks and knew what to do and when to do it – perfect leadership! The pre-event signage looked both inviting and professional and Jane organised for the wider publicity and a leaflet drop to our doors. All this pre-advertising meant a good turn out on the day. They both did a fantastic job and the Village Hall Social Committee are extremely grateful. The fete has raised a healthy £1000 to go towards keeping our precious village hall open.
We had our old favourites of course – cream teas, the plant stall was very popular (clearly people came prepared to snap up some brilliant plants), my own cake stall (more later), BBQ, the Hoopla, and so many more. New this year was Pimms with strawberries and cream, the Fun Dog Show, plate smashing and the Coconut Shy for example. There was plenty for everyone, including children of all ages all of whom seemed to have a go at the penalty shoot-out, and we were lucky, once again, to have the help of so many Longdown neighbours to run stalls and give up their Friday and Saturday evenings to set up and take down. The raffles this year deserve a particular mention. Jane and Andy persuaded local businesses and residents to donate luxury items for hampers or special treats out. Fantastic prizes all, so another huge thank you to our donors!
My responsibility was the cake stall, an upward learning curve for me these days as `I seldom bake now my own children have left home. Thankfully I needn’t have worried as so many neighbours provided cakes they knew would be popular, being much more experienced at this than me. The Lamb’s beautifully decorated extra chocolaty chocolate cake took prime position on the stand and was soon sold, and there were as many customers for the cupcakes and fairy cakes as for the larger family cakes, I’m glad to say. Victoria Sponges, Lemon Drizzle and Ginger cakes will clearly never go out of fashion. Particular thanks go to Sasha for finding the time to make me 6 cakes as well as running the bric-a-brac and plants stalls, to Lorraine for her Victoria cream Sponges and Rocky Roads , to Sharon who helped everywhere and everyone as well as baking me some exquisite cupcakes, and to Louise for managing to persuade her sister-in-law, not even a village resident, to provide me with cakes. Note to self – or future cake stall holders – have as many cakes as possible pre-wrapped, beautifully, in cellophane and ribbons. Cling film is the product of Satan, I can reveal. I know I haven’t mentioned everyone who donated cakes in this short report but you know who you are and I hope you know how much I appreciated your help.
So Longdown Village Fete 2019 was a good one and has provided much needed funds to help keep the Village Hall the asset is currently is to our community. The committee will report back in due course on future fete plans so please keep reading our news on this website. This was very much a village effort run and organised by villagers for villagers to enjoy and long may it continue to benefit from your support. Thank you all!!