Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Village Fete

Nothing says summer like a village fete. 

Cricket can be played on the green with village residents sitting around enjoying this very English sport. The village fete is one of those quintessential English occasions where everyone joins in the spirit of the day.  I was invited to the Longstowe village fete in Longstowe, Cambridgeshire a few weeks ago.  This was the 17th fete, usually held in May but it was felt there was a better chance of nice weather to hold it a bit later on in the year.  And as if it was payment for good behaviour the sun shone making it a bright and sunny day for an outside event.

It was being organised by my ex-husband and he had roped in my son to be the chief BBQ cook.

I was looking after my granddaughter Elizabeth for the weekend so we decided to pop up the see her daddy and granddad in action.

It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. There were loads of people attending the fete and the atmosphere was very buoyant.  Three and a half year old  Elizabeth was quick to join in on the fun, having a ride on the merry-go-round and a second ride later on.

There was a marquee on one side of the village green. Local residents had brought their best vegetables, cakes, jams and wines to be judged.  The rosettes looked lovely placed on the winning entries.  Towards the end of the afternoon the entries were raffled and the proceeds were all added to the total raised on the day. 

I bought some vegetables for £0.40 and a basket of prize winning potatoes for £1.50.  All of these were part of the meals for the next day or so. The winners were presented with trophies

Usually at BBQs of this type the sausages and burgers are supermarket bought but the Longstowe BBQ meat was donated by a local butcher and the sausages were lovely and thick with no added fillers or flavourings.  You could taste the real sausage and the burgers were lovely and not just tasting of seasonings that mask the absence of real meat.  These were lovely and round and didn’t shrink much with cooking. 

My son Edward was chief BBQ grill man and worked his way through about 100 sausages and several dozen burgers and was still smiling at the end of the afternoon.

And of course, where there are farmers there are also tractors.  Several of the locals own tractors and enter competitions and races at all sorts of venues and events.  Each owner was very proud and willing to show off their machines.

It is a shame that summer has come to an end but this kind of event leaves us with memories of bright summer days, cricket, BBQs and happy village residents!

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