Thursday, 11 August 2022

Dancing in the rain

FAMILIES turned out in force at Saturday’s fetes and fairs despite heavy downpours.

FAMILIES turned out in force at Saturday’s fetes and fairs despite heavy downpours.

About 500 people attended a Wild West-themed fair in Shiplake memorial fields, which raised more than £5,000 for the village primary school and nursery.

Children and adults dressed as cowboys and indians for the event and year three and four pupils performed line dances to country music for the spectators before everyone joined in.

Visitors were forced to run for cover when it rained during the dog show.

Buggies and scooters were decorated for a wacky wheels parade and there was an obstacle course, raffle, face-painting, food and drink stalls, go-karting and a classic car exhibition featuring Jaguars, Ford Mustangs, Triumphs, Rolls-Royces and a Georgia state patrol car.

A tug of war between mothers and fathers was won by the women.

Students from Shiplake College and Shiplake scouts helped out at the fair.

Organiser Elaine Waugh, of Harpsden Road, Henley, said she was pleased with the turnout considering the poor weather.

She said: “People came anyway and it was great once the rain stopped. Everyone had a fantastic time and there was a really great atmosphere.

“We’re trying to make it an event-based fair every year. Lots of people dressed up for the theme and it was a great effort. It was nice to see everyone joining in with the line dancing.”

Pupils organised their own stalls at the Badgemore Primary School fete in Henley.

Attractions included wellie wanging, shooting a football through target hoops, plant sales, splat the rat, throwing wet sponges at teachers, a tombola and raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

About 150 people attended the event, which raised £600 for items such as new books for the school library.

Joint headteacher Lesley Crockett, who was joined by teachers Tim Hoskins and Jo Basher for a “splat the teacher” game, said: “We had a few showers but I was drenched anyway from the wet sponges.

“We couldn’t find the board we usually use for the game so it was a matter of just sitting on a chair and facing whatever came our way. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the parents are already looking forward to arranging it again next year.”

About 2,000 people attended a fair in Mapledurham playing fields in Caversham, which raised £7,000 towards the £455,000 refurbishment of the pavilion. The event was organised by the Warren and District Residents’ Association and member Elisa Miles said: “It’s all about getting the pavilion into a state where people want to use it.

“It used to be a huge community resource but has been let go a little bit over the last 10 years so we’re trying to regenerate it.

“We want to get the community together to take part in this project. There are a few groups in here now but it could be a good place to hold events.”

A stage provided by Festival Republic, which runs Reading Festival, hosted music, theatre and dance performances throughout the day and there was a music festival in the evening.

There was a classic car rally that included four Buckler sports cars, which were built in Caversham between 1947 and 1962, and members of the Tang Sou Dao team in Caversham performed a martial arts display.

Other attractions included a barbecue, 40 stalls and vendors, children’s football, tennis and golf, a bouncy castle and slide, a craft and arts marquee and a dog show.

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