Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Return of teddy ‘death slide’

AN attraction known as the “teddy bear death slide” appeared at Rotherfield Greys fete for the first time in 13 years

AN attraction known as the “teddy bear death slide” appeared at Rotherfield Greys fete for the first time in 13 years.

Organisers decided to bring back the zip wire — to the delight of the many children among the 2,000 people who visited the event at Greys Court.

The little ones were encouraged to bring their favourite cuddly toys and send them down the wire from the top of the estate’s Great Tower.

The 50m rope and harnesses were provided by Gillian Ovey, of Greys Road, Henley, as they were in 2000, and the attraction was run by Henley town councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin, her husband Richard and Adam and Amanda Gibbon, from Rotherfield Greys.

Other games included a coconut shy, splat the rat and “balls in the bog”, in which competitors had to throw balls into an old toilet cistern.

There was wet sponge throwing, an ice cream van and a rowing competition on ergos loaned by the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

Villagers set up stalls selling cakes, tea and gifts while staff from the Maltsters Arms pub ran the beer tent and landlord Peter Bland dressed as Elvis Presley.There were American football demonstrations by the Reading Knights and performances by the Goring and Streatley Concert Band.

Organisers said the fete was the most successful to date, raising a record £8,500 for the upkeep of the village hall and St Nicholas’ Church.

Some visitors sat in the sun while others took part in activities organised by villagers.

Sue Hems, a member of the organising committee, said: “We had a wonderful day. It was really busy and everyone looked happy. We had a lovely sunny afternoon and Greys Court was a beautiful venue as always.

“I loved watching all the teddies flying down over the tea tent and into the corner of the gardens. The children were laughing and screaming — they really loved it. That really made the day for me.”

Next year’s fete will take place on September 7 and will be themed around The Wombles to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

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