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Summer Fete

Thursday 01 July 2010

Another year, another fete.... Or WAS it?
Every Fete I go to in Kingston seems to be bigger and better than the last. Not only by the volume of people visiting our village, but the sheer enjoyment seen on peoples faces. The weather wasn’t too bad either, seeing as I only noticed it lightly raining twice.

Walking around the green, there was obvious effort that went into the stalls, each individual placement swirled with activity and enthusiasm. I took my youngest son, Kane (7). As soon as he heard there was a bouncy castle, he had already put on his shoes and was ready to go! This also provided me with a different view of the afternoon, from a child's perspective.

After Kane had finished on the bouncy slide, we went past the raffle table (not before Beverly Wakeford-Brown, husband Roger and Rosemary Carnie sold us some tickets) and made our way over to the BBQ. Having a choice of pork or beef burgers was difficult to choose from, as they both sounded delicious, I went for the beef burger which tasted amazing! It looks like the Village Shop may well have found some new customers! Local produce really does taste much better than supermarket bulk bought food!

Throughout the afternoon, the East Sussex Concert Band played a wide variety of music - arrangements of show tunes, film music, big band jazz, marches and solo features, as well as some original works for concert band, which all went down very well with young and old. They are from all over East Sussex, and practice in Chailey.

Also going down very well were the smoothies. With a choice of ‘Tickled Pink’ or ‘Green Gunge’ flavours, how could you go wrong!? Both were hand made from fresh fruit, although far too much fun was had making them!
From a distance, we saw what could only be described as a mass of green foliage, sprouting from the ground and table tops - closer inspection revealed it was in fact the plant stall. How on earth the tables took the weight of so many plants I will never know!

Hidden behind the book and games stall were Rosemarie Jeffery and Jean Lawrence, who seemed equally at home having a laugh over a biscuit, as they did trying to sell items to every passer by.
The Juggs Beer Tent was well populated at most times, selling soft drinks as well as alcoholic drinks, as was the refreshment tent. The tables and chairs in front of both helped those weary from walking from stall to stall, and gave a base to sort out the tombola prizes that had been won.

The Tug O’ War was a very exciting affair. With the eternal ‘Grumpies’ watching from the sidelines, the rope was set out and carefully placed ready for the epic battles that lay ahead. Their purple shirts (given by The Juggs) could be seen dotted around the field, ready to dash in line when needed. The kid’s teams, one from the Church and Pre-school, and under 15’s, were both a little larger than the teams they competed against, and gave a great show of strength! The Church and Pre-school adult team took on the Grumps, and showed themselves to be undaunted by the eight purple shirts facing them. It was a nail biting moment as neither team showed any signs of moving, however - once the Church and Pre-school Adults team started to pull harder, there was too much momentum, and the brave Grumpies could do nothing to stop themselves from coming second in the final battle!

There were various track events, the threelegged races were fun to watch as pairs of boys and girls ran in their separate heats, all with no serious injuries. Prizes of sweets were given out to the winners of each race. ‘Straight running’ was next with some future stars speeding down the track. As well as races for the children, a ‘Dads’ race was held, with the finish line being quite crowded as it was a close result indeed.

Once all the excitement of the races was over, Kane and I walked around a few of the stalls we had previously missed, such as the ‘Ring the Bell’ stall which was great fun.
When the raffle started, we sat on the grass to hear the results of the raffle. Winners of the raffle received some great prizes, including Tesco vouchers, The Village Shop vouchers, Richards the butchers vouchers, a wine cooler and many more besides. Antonia Giles won the Bagatelle competition, with a mighty score of 375, which was well above most other efforts which were around the 200 mark!

Bruce Adams definitely deserves a mention, as his infectious enthusiasm certainly seemed to rub off on the fete visitors. Bruce kept the afternoon’s events running smoothly, injecting his own humour into the happenings on the field.

Brian Simmonds was pleased to report that “overall the Fete raised £2100 for Parish Hall funds, which will be used to help meet the cost of the internal redecoration of the hall. The fete Committee wish to thank all those supported the fete in any way, particularly those who operated stalls. The fete was followed in the evening by the traditional Tennis Club barbeque, which was much enjoyed by all those who attended. Even then games continued, with the young and less young joining in an egg throwing competition sponsored by The Juggs. All in all, it was a great day for the community spirit of Kingston."

- Dave Capper-Sandon