Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Get set for May Fair

A HUMAN fruit machine will be among the attractions at the Henley May Fair on bank holiday Monday.

A HUMAN fruit machine will be among the attractions at the Henley May Fair on bank holiday Monday.

The game has been organised by the Henley Lions Club to replace its long-standing Duck Derby in which thousands of plastic ducks are raced down the Thames from Mill Meadows.

Secretary Dave Murray said members cancelled the event in March because they feared this year?s heavy rain and floods would continue.

He joked: ?The weather was still looking awful well into 2013 and our ducks couldn?t go out and train.?

The human fruit machine, known as a ?six-armed bandit?, sees volunteers pick pictures of fruit at random inside a full-sized cardboard mock-up. Players win prizes if all three choose the same symbol. The Duck Derby has been running on and off for more than 20 years and was most recently revived in 2008.

Previous races have raised more than £4,500 for various charities including Henley Youth Centre, the Samaritans and the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

The Lions are also introducing an ?electric lion? tombola in which participants light a bulb on a picture of a lion and win prizes for choosing certain bulbs.

The fair, organised by members of the town?s Round Table, will run in Mill Meadows from noon until 5pm.

Also new this year will be a children?s king and queen fancy dress competition, which will be judged by Round Table chairman Robert Tatman and Henley Mayor Elizabeth Hodgkin.

Other attractions will include ferret racing, Morris dancers and a show by students from performing arts school StageWorks.

There will also be bouncy castles, face painting, live music, stalls and a beer tent as well as a children?s baking competition with prizes for best big cake, biscuits, tray bake and cupcakes.

The May Fair is one of several major events on the Tablers? calendar, along with their annual fireworks display at Swiss Farm and Christmas float. In the past three years the group has donated more than £20,000 to charities including the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley. Last year?s fair was cancelled following flood warnings.

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