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This year’s Spaldwick Fete – organised by Spaldwick Social Group – took place on Saturday 14th July 2012 at Spaldwick School, and this year it was better than ever despite the weather!
The Spaldwick Fete was officially opened by Spaldwick’s Jubilee Queen Olivia! Sadly, King Ben was on holiday.
To view high resolution photographs from the 2012 Spaldwick Fete, taken by Mark Heath, please click on the link below:
Review of the 2012 Spaldwick Fete
Here’s is the review of the 2012 Spaldwick Fete from Gavin Lessing-Caller, Chairman of Spaldwick Social Group:
After months of planning, the day had arrived. For three years in a row, we had been lucky with the weather. Would we make it four? Unfortunately not!
As the Spaldwick Social Group stood in the playground at 7am, and a band of helpers from around the village started to drift towards the school in their wellies and full rain gear, the question on everyone’s mind was: do we really want to hold an outside event in the rain?
After much deliberating and discussing the options, it soon became apparent that if we didn’t hold it that day then we wouldn’t be able to hold it at all, so the decision was to go for it! I have to say that this was more to do with double trouble (Lisa and Lucy) and their persuasive attitudes than my keenness to remain wet through for ten hours!
Unfortunately, as we all know it was not just a recent spell of inclement weather. It had been raining for most of the preceding month and the ground was waterlogged. Lisa Hunter had met with Miss Prior on Friday and held a pitch inspection (not quite football league, but along the same lines) and the decision was bleak. The field where we traditionally held most of the events was unusable and we would need to hastily relocate the entire Fete onto the playground or in the school.
Heads together for a fast change of location for the stalls and a few calls later to cancel some of the performers (sadly this included an archery display from Hinchingbrooke Archery Club, the Spaldwick Maypole Team and Junior McDougald and his charity Sports Connections Foundation Pro Kick Challenge Goal), and then we were ready to go.
This is the magic part! The Spaldwick Social Group and associated friends own around seven marquees and each year we struggle to see how we will cover the stalls. In the past this was to provide shelter from the blazing sun, but now we really needed shelter. Well, in true Spaldwick style, the marquees started arriving from all over the village and we ended up with 20 marquees, all erected on the playground with stalls – all in place scarcely 20 minutes before the official opening time.
Had the rain stopped? No, but spirits remained high and with ten minutes to go, we evacuated the playground for a safety check.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. “The Spaldwick Fete is now open”, announced Spaldwick Queen Olivia Sturdy and the crowds rushed in. Actually, this was the surprise of the day. As the weather looked like it was going to stay rainy most of the day, the ‘Spaldwick Faithful’ turned up anyway.
We had we had a number of guest stands including Bejazzled, Model Car Parties and Alconbury Stage Stars, adding to stands from our very own favourite shop ‘Number 12’, Escape Youth Group, Playtimes, FOSS, S-Club and the Spaldwick Gardening Club – to make the day a treat for the whole community.
Due to the cancellation of the Kimbolton Fayre, we were fortunate to have two beautiful, restored Healey cars for the day, and we have been assured that they will be back with friends next year!
Tea and cakes lost their usual spot near to the BBQ and used the community room kitchen to provide a base. While it was a fraction quieter for them than in the past, everything is relative and they were kept on their toes all day. The School hall contained a great mass of people catching up with friends and sampling the best cakes available anywhere, and we were lucky to have the recently-restored bier on hand to provide a centre point inside.
Dare I say that there was a ‘steady stream’ of people arriving all day, and when the final entries were counted, we were less than 100 people down on previous years, with over 650 people coming to the event. I think this is astounding when you think just how wet it really was for much of the day, so well done the hardy souls of Spaldwick and the surrounding villages (as we saw many guests from Huntingdon, Ellington, Easton, Grafham and Stow Longa to name but a few).
Personally, I was incredibly proud of the young people of the village as they manned many stands at the Fete including golf putting, ball in a bottle, magic boxes and the “21” campaign, gaving up their time to run stalls and raise money for others.
Despite the weather, you can see from the simply amazing photos on the Spaldwick Village website that there were plenty of smiling faces and it really was another great success. A massive thank you to Mark Heath for both the website and the photos.
I will try to provide a more detailed breakdown in due course, but the event raised more than £3,000, which (after we have covered expenses) will go to different groups within the village. I will give you all a more detailed update on where the money has gone to in the next few months.
This year was our first attempt at an evening event and, to get things started, we first had to move our ‘tented village’ to face the bandstand, ready for a night of live music.
The free hog roast had been cooking all day under the careful attention of Chef Trevor and was positioned behind the bar ready for the rush. Some of us tried to grab a few minutes between the Fete ending at 4pm (when everything had been cleared away by 5:30) and the start of the evening session at 6.15. I know of a few people that never even left the site!
When the Spaldwick Social Group decided to hold its first evening event, we guessed that about 100 to 150 people would attend, but with the rain who knew what would happen? In fact, 250 people arrived and the night was on!
The damp conditions could not spoil the fun and, for me, the great part of the night was seeing all our children laughing and enjoying themselves, soaked to the skin, running through puddles and making the best of the time together.
The hog roast was beautifully cooked and Number 12 supplied its excellent potato salad and coleslaw, together with other goodies.
The bar was constantly busy all night with great beer and wine, and even greater conversation. Who could not be impressed with the live band? Our very own group of talented guys not only gave us a night to remember with many classics, but had also been highly involved all day at the Fete.
This just leaves me to say a massive thank you to all of the Spaldwick Social Group who worked so hard to put the event together, the people from Spaldwick who arrived to help in the morning and the evening, all the stand holders that helped make the day, the band for a great night, the evening team for all their work and, last but not least, all of you who turned up and supported the day. I can honestly say that, for us, the most important thing is for people to attend the event and have fun.
Thank you Spaldwick. It has been emotional!
Gavin Lessing-Caller (Chairman of the Spaldwick Social Group)
We would very much like to thank Gavin, who has tirelessly worked for the benefit of Spaldwick for many years. Gavin has dedicated so much of his time to make so many events such a success. Without him, we would never have witnessed the amazing community spirit we now have within our village. Thank you Gavin for the real difference you have made.
Scarecrow week (30th June – 8th July 2012)
Scarecrows were displayed throughout the village. The results were announced at the Fete on Saturday 14th July. The judge said that the overall quality of the entrants was “outstanding” – the best year so far! The winner was ‘The Surveyor’. Runner up was the ‘Lady Painter’.
The winner (Trevor) received a £40 family ticket to Cineworld, Huntingdon, donated by Spaldwick Social Group. He received his prize at the evening event.
Please enter next year and see if you can win the prize!
Other event information pages
Please visit our other pages about past events in and around Spaldwick: