The Withersfield Village Fête. Old England at its best.Posted by Fiona Nevile in Cottage tales | 10 comments
“You know the stand where people break crockery. How does that work? Are there prizes?”
I had watched fascinated as people threw wooden balls at shelves of crockery. Listening to the encouraging roars when someone managed to break something or at best create an avalanche that slid satisfactorily down the shelves, smashing the odd piece on its way.
“Ah!” Declared C conspiratorially, “no prizes. It’s done for the pure hell of it. In fact there’s lots of crockery in the Flea Market next door. You could buy it and smash it at home. Of course you’d have to clean up the mess.”
Yes there had been a pretty 1960’s tea service that I’d spotted in the Flea Market. I’d fancied buying it but knew that Danny would be grumpy if I sashayed into the cottage with yet another box of stuff.
Seraphina and I were at the Withersfield Village Fête. A proper old fashioned affair filled with the sort of stalls that I used to see at fêtes when I was a child. A coconut shy stood beside the tent housing the brass band. Amongst the highlights for me were the afternoon teas, beer tent, plant stall, grand raffle and of course a groaning book stall.
We weaved our way through hordes of children that had visited the face painting stand. A tall smart man in moleskin trousers bent down to examine the long black whiskers painted on the face of a small girl in a summer frock.
“Are you a lion or a pussy cat?”
She drew back a little and glanced up at her mum.
“I’m a pussy cat.”
“And very fine you look too.”
The smell of freshly cut grass, the threat of showers, the thin megaphone voice announcing that there was a bottle of vodka for ticket 247 – sadly not mine – sum up the delicious pleasure of a good church fête. The sense of a community coming together to raise money. It’s an integral part of an English summer.
We left for home laden with plants and books and passed a cricket team on another village green, beetling towards a tiny pavilion to avoid a shower. Tiny doll sized figures facing triumph or commiseration but for all, a large sustaining cricket tea.
If you live within driving distance the Withersfield Village Fête is well worth a visit next year.
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