Rowlands Castle Village Fair

Village Fair 2015 – Chairman’s Post Match Report!

Although it is only a very short time since last Saturday, judging by the comments and emails we have received it would seem that the RCVF team have delivered another successful event.

We had many more stalls than last year and this was greatly aided by the new RCVF website and online booking forms, general information, and a great new map of the Green created by Steve Pierson. The set up the Green started about 7AM under the commanding eye of young Sam Tucker and was completed in plenty of time for the start with the assistance of the booking coordinator, Caroline Hill.

We had a larger arena than usual and provided straw bales this year for people to sit on as they enjoyed the show, a great improvement, and the idea of Tony Bathmaker. The first on were the Horndean Steel Pan Band who kicked things off in grand style and then Neil Watson, Chairman of Castle United Football Club, officially opened the Fair. It was a pleasure for me to be able to present him with £250 cheques from RCVF funds for both adult and junior sides. £250 was also donated to 1st Rowlands Castle Scouts.

Andy Tucker, who did a sterling job on the PA throughout the day, then announced the winners of the Horticultural Show that was excellently organised, as ever, by Brian Aherne.

Geese

Following that an exciting new addition to the arena was Terena Plowright and her sheep dog, Sweep, who gave the first of two demonstrations of his skills in rounding up some remarkably insouciant geese!

Other new additions to the event were a Punch and Judy show that had young and old shrieking for all they were worth and gentle musical entertainment in the marquee provided by Arabesque Noir. Last year’s big hit, Professor Crump, returned again to entertain one and all through the day with his antics on bike and scooter.

The day’s events were rounded off with traditional children’s races and Tug O War in the arena.

The day was not without its crises – the most noticeable of these being the extremely late arrival of the tables and chairs from the marquee provider. As the morning wore on, and the temperature climbed, the lack of seating became increasingly taxing for many on the Green. However the Parish Hall come to our rescue with the temporary use of their chairs until the ones we’d paid for eventually arrived. In gratitude, we will be making a contribution to their funds.

We are only a small committee this year but we were able to run our own bar this weekend. Adrian Wilcox project managed and, not having enough RCVF members to staff it ourselves, Susan Morrison arranged a crowd of willing volunteers – to whom many heartfelt thanks. With free bar staff we are looking at healthy profits to new village causes whilst still offering prices that significantly reduced the amount of BYO that has undercut fundraising efforts in past years. Together with the advertising revenue from the RCVF magazine driven by Jon Higham our Treasurer, Gill Bell, should be banking a healthy profit from the day.

The evening’s live entertainment in the marquee by Rachael Hawnt and the band Great Scott went down a storm (and we’ve already received multiple requests to have them back next year) complemented by great tracks from DJ Bob McCartney before and after the live sets. To ensure the safety of the 500 people in the audience Ian Oliver arranged for professional security this year. Their only comment after the event was how friendly and cooperative the crowd was!

Cleaning Up

Despite all efforts with bins and skips provided on site, the thousands of people we get at this event usually means mess and, unsurprisingly, we had plenty this year. But thanks to the efforts of the Castle United Youth Football Team and the 1st Rowlands Castle Scouts (assisted by the jaded members of the RCVF who had had little more than 10 hours sleep in past three days) the Green was immaculate again by 10AM on Sunday!

Finally, I am hoping that we will have two young new members of the committee by the time you read this. Charlie Oliver and Sophie Bell’s help in this year’s event was magnificent and richly deserves an invitation to help plan next year’s, even better, event.

Grahame Morrison
RC Village Fair Chair
02392 413964