It was a lovely warm, sunny morning on Saturday June 27th, when I arrived on the playing field at 7:00 am. to take delivery of the big trailer which Farrell's had loaned us for the stage. Soon after that our wonderful sound engineer, James, arrived to set up his equipment. It's hard to believe that James is still a teenager and his knowledge of sound technology is astonishing. Then the trailer arrived with the big bales of straw and suddenly we had our open air theatre. Shortly after that the stall holders began setting up their stalls and the field really began to look the part.
Over in the Community Centre, Alan was firing up the barbecue and in the main hall, Sue Walker and Jackie Bradley were setting out the cafe style refreshments while Ted and Jane Lush were replenishing the bar. The village web site, tarvinonline.org was putting up a display and the W.I. were laying out some fabulous examples of their craft work
Meanwhile, back on the field, the fairground had arrived and soon the lights were twinkling and the roundabouts we're going round as the show people began their safety tests. Broomhealth Plantation had cordoned off a section for their bush craft activities and the Cubs and Beavers had set up a variety of games and attractions. Tarvin Rex football team had a 'beat the Goalie' game – of course!
I was helped by an amazing team of stewards. Francis Scoon and Andrew Payne had arrived on the field soon after me at 7.00am so they were as pleased as I was when the bacon butties arrived at 9:00 am. We had a team of 20 stewards and they were busy all morning organising the car parking, putting the seating on the stage, assisting the stall holders, dealing with numerous enquiries, etc, etc.
The morning flew by and soon it was time to assemble for the grand fete procession at Poole Bank. Once all the flowers had been collected I drove down to make sure everything was going well. This year's canopy, decorated by Sandra Turner, was very impressive.
The procession was led by the town crier and behind him marched a contingency of Roman soldiers, glorious in their magnificent uniforms and proudly carrying their standard. Next came the Northop Silver Band leading our own 1st Tarvin Brownies, Beavers and Cubs, all in smart uniform with each group carrying their standards. Then, the Fete King and Queen, Owen Blockley and Sophie Cribb,
walking under the beautiful white and gold canopy decorated with lace and flowers with ribbons cascading from the four corners. The canopy is carried by four canopy bearers, dressed in long white dresses and the ribbons are held out by the four ribbon bearers, also dressed in white. Our Fete queen looked amazing in her fabulous long white dress, trimmed with pearls and, over it, the blue velvet cloak; its long train supported by two cloak bearers in pretty white dresses. On her head she wore a delicate gold tiara and she carried a lovely bouquet of white roses. Her King was equally regal with his blue satin cloak and gold tie to match the gold royal sashes that the royal couple were wearing. The King and Queen were accompanied by five princes and five princesses wearing their tiaras and carrying floral posies of white roses, together with five lords and five ladies who wore silver headbands and also carried white rose posies.
Following behind the royal party were the younger children who attend the pre-school playgroup, all in fancy dress
With the help of my trusty loud hailer, I lined up the procession. The band struck up and they were off. As soon as the last person had left Poole Bank, I got back into my car to drive as quickly as possible back to the playing field so as to arrive before the procession. On the way I passed such a lot of people, lining the roads to watch the parade and it was heart-warming to see that some households had joined in the festive atmosphere by decorating the front of their houses with bunting
When the procession arrived at the field and all the children were up on the stage, the Town Crier conducted the crowning ceremony, solemnly placing the golden crowns upon the heads of the royal couple. Then it was the turn of his worship the Lord Mayor, Hugo Deynam, accompanied the Lady Mayoress, to officially declare the Fete open.
Then the afternoon's fun and entertainment began. In glorious sunshine, we were treated to an open air concert where we were entertained by Tarporley High School's junior band, the Janice Anderson dancers, St Andrew's youth choir, the Kellsborrow Singers and the Northop Silver band. Our Master of Ceremonies was Adam Friend who did a great job keeping us informed all afternoon. The numerous attractions and games, not to mention the fairground rides, kept children and adults occupied for hours. At the Community Centre, long queues formed for ice cream, burgers and cold drinks and all the stall holders did a steady trade throughout the afternoon. The pie stall all but sold out, as did the cake stall and all the charities who were represented raised good amounts of money for their own organisations.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the tug of war tournament. For the second year on the run, the men's challenge shield was won by St Andrew's although the vicar broke his crocks in the attempt, with the result that on Sunday morning, he was forced to take the service wearing socks and leather shoes! could the winning Ladies please let us have your team name so it can be engraved on the winner's shield – Lyn Brunton. Also well done to the Victoria Sponge Cake winners who were Rachel Thorp (adults ) and Erin Parr (Juniors)
All too soon the afternoon was over and it was time to clear everything away for another year. But we had had a wonderful day thanks not only to all those who helped to organise, sponsored and supported this very special event, but also to the hundreds of villagers who came along to join in. We certainly know how to have a party in Tarvin.
Ed: Visitors at Tarvin Fete know what a great day it was, but Tarvinonline asked organiser, Jo Richards to write about how she saw the day. We know of at least one potential crisis on the day, but Jo dealt with it so effectively that we knew nothing about it until after the event!