My village. Well, the nearest village; we live in the middle of nowhere. But the infants’ school is important; all three of our kids went there and Linda teaches the Reception Class. The village hall is important; God knows how many plays, pantos and PTA quiz-nights I have attended over the past 25 years. The Crossways is important; a proper beer-drinker’s pub that I would frequent more often if only, Teresa, I could open the bloody door and get up that bloody ramp without yelling for help. And then there’s the ‘Rec’.
Behind the village hall, the Spar, the Pipasha Tandoori restaurant and the lawn-mower shop is the vast green Recreation Ground, lined by trees, tennis courts, the pavilion and a playground. For most of the summer it’s given over to cricket (I wish I could have convinced my boys to play cricket) and on the second Saturday each June, it’s the venue for the village fete. We held it last Saturday and it went pretty well, I thought.
There was a brass band, a BBQ, a dance display by the St John’s School-kids, a Pimms stall, a free surfing simulator, a dog-show, food and drink stands, the local Honda dealer, Cub Scouts and the WI — dozens of stalls encircled the cricket square. We ran a set of family games. You know the sort of thing; three-legged race, scarecrow relay and so on. Anarchy ruled for a full 40 minutes. And if you hung around until the final medal had been handed out, Tom Viveash (chair of t’fete commitee) drew the winners of the various raffles.
Not bad prizes either. The one I crossed my fingers for was the wheelbarrow-full of booze, offered by Ros who manned a fundraising stall for local students planning a trip to Ghana. You got the wheelbarrow too and watching the two delighted winners manoeuvring the loaded barrow through the exit was, for me, the high-point of the afternoon.
And then, on cue, it started spitting with rain. Looks like we had a great turnout though, if the activity in the carpark was anything to go by. Many of the local villages hold fetes, on specific weekend days to avoid clashes. So Churt is always on the second Saturday in June — mark your diaries for 2019!