It was very exciting bringing the fete to Badshot Lea this year – everything needed planning from scratch. We started planning, a small team, people from all four of our congregations. We set a date, 10th June, making sure we did not clash with the schools or Farnham Carnival – the raffle tickets went to the printers and the applications for the necessary licences were made and our entertainers were invited -but then panic set in as we realised that St. George’s hall had been booked for that date! (Note to self, the hall is booked a lot now!) We were truly blessed – everything was able to be changed, with no extra cost, and our new date was set for 3rd June. I’m sure the Lord as with us, because we couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Friday evening, thunder storms were forecast, but it was fine and warm. Tombola prizes were ticketed, tables collected from the school, brave people climbed up the ladder and strung bunting from the flag pole and with a lot of help, the grounds became festive. No one could have missed that there was something going on at the Church.
Saturday started early, the sun shone, it was warm but not too hot. Perfect fete weather. The bouncy castle arrived and the beer was delivered. Mentioning beer, a huge ‘Thank You’ to the Shepherd and Flock, who donated a barrel of beer and 30 single bottles of Prosecco, an incredible gift. We must also thank all those businesses who donated prizes for the raffle and the auction – and those trusty people who sent out letters and visited with smiles and pleas for ‘just a little something for the Parish Fete’.
By 9.45 it was really busy, tables were set up, goods brought out and our DJ got us in the mood. The hall was turned into the ‘cool café, the maypole took centre stage. The BBQ started to smell enticing and we gave a cry of ‘Help, who knows how to tap a barrel?’. Cups of tea and coffee kept everyone going – the kitchen was busy and then suddenly it was 12.00.
A group of children opened the fete and the fun began. Fingersmith and the Rocking Thumbs, an amazingly good band of young rock stars began our entertainment and performed later in the day before rushing off to a gig in Farnham. The children from Badshot Lea School were delightful as they wound the Maypole. Some of the grown ups wanted a go…. Not quite as successfully! Children’s faces were painted and they loved the games and activities. Prizes were being won and stalls sold lots of delectable items. The afternoon progressed and became a real village affair. Passers-by popped in and stayed. The beer tent was busy and there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere with people having teas, eating burgers and enjoying the sun. The Carillon Singers came along to entertain, performing in the Church and were, as always, excellent. Olivia Jasper sang and played beautifully entertaining those in the café and sitting by the bar.
The afternoon was rounded off with the auction and the Grand Raffle. The crowds went home, happy and slightly sun burned. Lots of people lent a hand and before long everything was cleared away and we were putting the Church back together. We were all exhausted but very happy.
The final total is about £2,500 – which is about £500 more than last year. An incredible effort by everyone concerned. There are too many people to thank individually and you know who you are. It was a real team effort and a great bit of outreach, fun and fellowship.