What a scorcher!

Take 670 visitors, 200 plastic ducks, an array of dogs and an army of willing volunteers, plus a heavy dose of sunshine and you have the ingredients for a perfect annual village fete. This year’s Littlehempston Fete was a leap into the unknown – the new site up the hill was quite different from the old, presenting new challenges and opportunities. This site is bigger and hillier, enabling two new events – the family dog and terrier racing was great fun, and the water slide proved a big hit. Plus the crowds enjoyed a spectacular view over distant Dartmoor. While the youngsters were entertained racing round the obstacle course and battling it out on the slippery pole, the adults lounged in deck chairs in the shade to escape the sun.

One problem facing organisers this year was how to run the traditional duck race on a hill far from Gat Brook. The solution was to convert the water slide into an enormous trough with the enthusiastic participation of the onlookers holding up the sides. The ducks swooshed down amidst excited shrieks. John Joiner (pictured here cooling off in Ken’s Chess Tent) was a most appropriate winner – his son Lawrence had returned especially from the Isle of Wight to provide his invaluable help. Another fitting winner was Robert Moule, who scooped the very last raffle prize – Robert farms the two fields where the fete was held and provided much help and advice.

The Fete Team were delighted with how things went and also with the financial result – over £3,200 was raised with donations already made to Berry Pomeroy Primary School, Rowcroft Hospice and Staverton Court Room, who as ever were most helpful with the loan of their tables and chairs. Money is usually gifted to help pay off the building works loan for our village hall, the Community Space, and last year winter entertainments for our village children were funded too.

If you have suggestions for other worthy village causes, which you would like to see supported by the Fete, please contact the Fete Team. A ‘proper’ application process will be set up shortly. Meanwhile for a detailed breakdown of this year’s finances, do contact Ali Taylor. Thanks for all your feedback so far that includes excellent ideas for improvement for next year, which will be discussed at the open review meeting in September. The date will be sent out soon – do come if you possibly can.

Much of the village helped out in some way and the wonderful volunteers worked their socks off, both on the day and in setting up and clearing away. No mean feat with the scorching temperature. A big thank you to all involved. And thanks to Neil Kelly, Mike Smith, Ali Taylor and Ken Wood who provided the great gallery of photos.