Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Crowds drawn to traditional Harpsden fete

MORE than 900 people attended the Harpsden village fete on Sunday

MORE than 900 people attended the Harpsden village fete on Sunday.

The event was held on the football field behind the village hall and attractions included a bouncy castle, circus skills workshop and fairground games such as a coconut shy and hoopla.

The arena in the middle of the field hosted performances from locals including a pirate-themed dance routine from Steph’s Dancing Divas and Dudes, run by Henley resident Stephanie Maxwell.

There was also a dog show judged by Alex Richardson, of the Henley Pet Shop, in which hopefuls took on an obstacle course and were judged on looks and behaviour.

A schnauzer called Woody, owned by Sheena Woods, was named the most handsome hound while Brie the border collie, owned by Carol Hunt, won the prettiest pooch award.

Children could take pony rides in the adjoining field and there was also a reptile tent and music from Sam Brown’s International Ukelele Club of Sonning Common.

Food and drink was available all day, with a barbecue followed by cream tea.

Visitors could take part in traditional games including a sack race and at the end of the day there was a village tug of war for all age.

There were running races for children in a range of age groups. The youngest winner was Jemima Watson, two, while the oldest children’s race was won by 12-year-old Ishan Meiklejohn.

A raffle and silent auction was held with prizes including tickets to the Henley Festival, a boat hire from Hobbs of Henley and a day on the set of Midsomer Murders.

Organiser Jane Burtt said: “The numbers were well up on last year and we were so lucky with the weather. The highlights were the dog show, which is always great, the races and the tug of war.

“We love the ukeleles and Sam Brown always brings her own brand of wackiness. One new thing this year was the cream tea on the field, which was lovely and ran seamlessly on from the barbecue.

“We were absolutely delighted with how it went and the best thing is seeing the village pull together. All the dads help put up and take down the field, which is a massive undertaking, and they are run by the brilliant Jon Moulds.”

The fete raised more than £6,000 which will be split between St Margaret’s Church in Harpsden, the Royal British Legion, Harpsden Pre-school and the 1st Henley brownies.

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