Saturday, 04 December 2021

Let’s keep tradition going, says village fete organiser as she steps down

Let’s keep tradition going, says village fete organiser as she steps down

THE outgoing organiser of Harpsden village fete says she’s leaving on a high.

Hundreds of people attended this year’s event, which took place in the grounds of the village hall on Sunday.

Attractions included a coconut shy, barbecue, raffle, hoopla, ice creams and a circus skills workshop run by children’s entertainer Mike Tait, alias Oojamaflip.

There were children’s races in the main arena, which was marked out by straw bales which people could sit on.

There was also a fun dog show where the winners included Emerald, a six-year-old British bulldog who was deemed to look most like her owner, Alan Campbell, of Upton Close, Henley. He and his wife Jules and daughter Tarry gave the dog a home last year after she was rescued by a charity in the North-East.

He said: “She’s clearly honoured that the judges think she’s as good-looking as me!

“They asked why we’re similar and I said we’ve got wide shoulders, we’re a bit rotund and fairly lazy so I feel like we’re kindred spirits.

“She has become part of the family and is wonderful with everyone so I’d thoroughly recommend the breed for families. The only one that doesn’t get on with her is our cat Kitty.”

Other attractions included stalls selling cuddly toys and plants and live music from Mrs Gavin’s Sacred Heart Dad Band, a group of five fathers from Sacred Heart Primary School in Henley.

The fete raised £5,000 for community causes, including the upkeep of the parish church. Jane Burtt, who has been running the fete since about 2007, was pleased with the turnout.

She said: “We were worried because it was such a damp set-up but the clouds parted at just the right moment and the majority of the afternoon was in glorious sunshine, which made all the difference. We had a very similar attendance to previous years and the atmosphere was as terrific as ever with people ery happy to sit in the sun and chat with one another.

“This is a long-standing tradition in the village and people have been coming for decades. There are people who only see each other at the fete and it’s a chance for them to catch up.

“We don’t want this tradition to die out. It’s popular because of how old-fashioned it is and it would be wonderful if someone else could step up to the plate.

“I’m sure there will be someone in the village who will be able to ensure it keeps going.”

The children’s race winners were as follows:

Aged 12: 1 James Edgell; 
2  Oliver Saunders; 3 Baz Barrett 

Aged 10: 1 Charlie Edgell; 
2 Scarlett Hatch; 3 Leila Cranston, Sophia Mason  

Aged nine: 1 Elysia Chilvers; 
2 Pedro Newman; 3 Eliana Artherton

Aged eight: 1 Freddie Bertoli; 
2 Raiph Surplice; 3 Ethan Hatch 

Aged seven: 1 Isabella Stobie–
Smith; 2 Ethan De Savoye; 
3 Dhani Prabhu-Naik 

Aged six: 1  Georgia Ferguson; 
2 Izzy Cooke; 3 Alexander Jewell

Aged five: 1 Conan Feversani Gallagher; 2 Alice Michele Tatman; 3 Poppy Sheppard 

Aged four: 1 Arabella Friend; 
2 William Mallins; 3 Isabella de Savoye

Aged three (first race): 
1 Conor Feversani Gallagher; 
2 Mali Keene; 3 Maisye Lamb

Aged three (second race):
1 Phoebe Friend; 2 Henry Lemahien; 3 Oliver Payne

Aged two: 1 Alexander Cooke; 2 Heather Simmons; 3 Keagan Molloy 

Fathers’ race: 1 Archie Speirs; 2 Philip Gallagher; 3 Micky Molloy.

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