Friday, 12 August 2022

Hundreds swelter in the heat at fete

Hundreds swelter in the heat at fete

HUNDREDS of people attended Harpsden fete on the hottest day of the year so far.

Sales of ice cream and cold drinks soared as visitors to Sunday’s event tried to keep cool in temperatures that hit 30C.

Attractions included stalls, games, pony rides, a bouncy castle slide, coconut shy, children’s races and a dog show.

Harpsden Pre-School ran a face-painting stall and children could handle reptiles, including a python, and a tarantula at another stall.

An arena in the centre of the village recreation ground hosted a range of entertainment.

The performers included Sam Brown’s Ukulele Band with Ms Brown’s brother Pete as lead singer and Steph’s Dancing Divas and Dudes.

There was also a barbecue, with meat provided by Shiplake Village Butchers, a bar and cream teas.

There were about 20 entries in the dog show and organisers provided bowls of water for the animals to drink and a paddling pool for them to cool off in.

Ben Harris, of Abrahams Road, Henley, performed an agility display with an 11-year-old Belgian shepherd after competing at Crufts earlier this year. Villager Jane Burtt, who helped organised the fete and ran the hoopla stall, said: “We were very worried about the heat and the turnout considering the conditions but the atmosphere of the fete was lovely.

“The stallholders who were lucky enough to have a gazebo were fine. We had an enormous surge of people at the bar where they could sit under a gazebo and enjoy their pints of beer.”

She estimated that about 450 people attended, helping to raise more than £5,000, which will be shared between St Margaret’s Church in the village, the Royal British Legion, Harpsden Pre-School and Harpsden brownies.

Mrs Burtt said: “The fete is the spirit of the village and very heart-warming. Because we’re so spread out, we haven’t really got a heart to our village, so with this sort of thing everybody is pulling together and it’s nice meeting people you have not met before.

“People come to us because it’s pretty similar every year and it’s very traditional.

“It’s good that children can get away from their screens and come and do things that children have enjoyed for centuries.”

Mrs Burtt thanked her fellow organisers and Jon Moulds, who ran the team which set up the fete.

The winners of the children’s races were as follows: 12-year-olds — 1st  James Edgell,   2nd Ben Rainboth,   3rd  Thomas Philips

10-year-olds  — 1st  William Grant,   2nd   Jonty Yeats,    3rd  Iona Copeland

Eight-year-olds  — 1st Charlie Edgell,    2nd  Ben Adshead,  3rd   Joseph Watts

Seven-year-olds  — 1st Sophia Blumenthal,  2nd Pedro Newman,  3rd  Orla Bell

Six-year-olds  — 1st Freddie Bertoli-Smith,  2nd Henry Blackwell, 3rd Theo Hendry

Five-year-olds  —  1st Henry McClean,   2nd Dhani Prabhu-Naik

Four-year-olds  — 1st   Georgia Fergison, 2nd Oscar Brind,  3rd  Grace Watts

Three-year-olds — 1st Gemima Watson,  2nd Cona Feuersani-Gallagher, 3rd Bailey Lloyd.

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