Rowlands Castle Village Fair

Village Fair 2016 – Chairman’s Post Match Report!

I’m writing this report in the midst of a power cut and am happy to say that this year’s Fair suffered no such inconvenience (despite a record number of stalls) because this year we hired a generator twice the size of before. Tea Cops RideIf the blackout on Redhill Road continues I may have to start it up again! Despite having our shiny new toy we had no one to set up until Mike, TMS Show Services, arrived after an already very long day and continued into the late evening to make sure we had more than enough power points on the Green. His commitment to the event is incredible and he has stood us proud for a decade. Hats off.

ArcheryWith so many stalls on the Green Sam Tucker needed to meticulously plan the arrangements beforehand and marked all their positions out the night before. It is a testament to his exactitude that there were none of the usual stall holder complaints that they had to have the exact same pitch as their father’s and their fathers forefather’s before them had, when they realised they were, literally, pitch perfect.

With Coffin Mew, this years Fair sponsors, in pride position in the centre of a (for once) green Green we had a really exciting mix of stalls – from lawn mowers to archery to miniature crazy golf and for the heart of the day, the kiddie’s rides, our prices remained unchanged at 50p a go. It’s always hard to be exact on numbers but it seemed that we had one of our best attendances ever, with streams of families down into the village from 11 AM onwards.

Bucking BroncoOne exciting addition for this year was a mechanical Bucking Bronco – another great idea from Sam – that was a huge hit with the younger set (and some adventurous parents) although it was much more difficult than most assumed with an average time of thirty three seconds. Thirty seconds to get used to the easiest setting and then three more to fall off in!

This year Gill Bell returned to the announcer’s caravan to give another boisterous and informative narrative of the day’s events.

Sheep Dog SweepBy popular demand Terena Plowright, and her sheep dog Sweep, returned to give two highly attended demonstrations of the skills of a working dog although at times it had to be asked whether the geese weren’t as clever as the dog.

The village dog show was also a great success with many dogs of all sizes and breeds entered into the various categories. Many thanks to the veterinary nurses from Priors Leaze vets for running the competition and providing the prizes for the proud category winners.

The Punch and Judy show returned this year to great enthusiasm from a new young audience eager to cheer the show along with balloon modelling of all kinds by the Professor of either exciting animals or, mostly, swords!

RaffleSadly, the traditional end of Fair kid’s races and Tug – O –War had to be abandoned. From sun up until 3PM the weather was near perfect but then it decided to rain. This brought a premature ending to an otherwise pretty much perfect day. Whilst the downpour continued the raffle draw was held although there were few around to hear the results. However every ticket had the owner’s mobile number on the back and the lucky winners will be informed in due course.

Due to the torrential rain we had in the late afternoon our official caterers, Stansted Farm Shop, having made a sizeable donation for the privilege, had to watch their pizza ovens slowly extinguish and so were forced to call it a day.

The BarAs always the bar was a key component to the success of the day and, once more, Susan Morrison arranged the usual willing volunteers to serve the thirsty and to whom I give many heartfelt thanks (both the staff and the thirsty). The bar is a key income generator and is only practical with donated effort. Combined with this year’s increased advertising revenue from the RCVF magazine, driven by Sophie Bell, we should be able to at least break even this year.

The music for this year’s evening event was by local band Kojak’s Revenge who, literally, warmed up the audience by getting everybody dancing before the end of their first song. Not only did people comment on the night how good the band were but also Kojak’s Revenge told me how much they would love to play again for such a great location and audience. Once more the evening was complemented by great tracks from DJ Bob McCartney before and after the live sets.

1st Rowlands Castle ScoutsDespite all efforts with bins and skips provided on site, the many people we get on the day usually means mess and, again, we had plenty this year. Thanks to the 1st Rowlands Castle Scouts, Amanda and Richard Brooks and Mark and Sarah Thorpe for helping the RCFV clear the site on Sunday, which is one of the more onerous, and certainly less glamorous!, things that all go on to make the day possible.

Grahame Morrison
RC Village Fair Chair
02392 413964