Winsford Fete 2017 – Jam and Cake, Dogs and Sheep….A Fine Old Tradition!
At last….the sun shone, the marquees flapped in the breeze, the sheep looked nervous and the stalls were all set with their wares!
Yes, the annual village fete was under starter’s orders! They’re off….. bang on 13.00.
Aaah…the tables and chairs ready for the tea-drinkers and cake-eaters, right in front in front of the Pavilion overlooking the marquees, full to the brim with various vegetables, cakes, bric-a-brac and books.
Would the second-hand clothes have anything to offer
such a well-dressed crowd..?
There may be some way to go to match The Chelsea Flower Show but there was a host of healthy plants on sale and for those traditional teas, homemade cake and jams!
The Raffle stall was doing good business but not quite like the whirlwind Tombola stall which had queues of at least 5 people from time to time! Sold out in just over the hour.
Now what’s going on over there? There seem to be a lot of dogs(mmm…), tails wagging like mad and enough barking to muffle the PA system playing old classics like “Trouble over Bridgwater” and Cliff’s “The Young Ones”. Many classes throughout the afternoon but of course, everyone’s favourite,the dog that looks most like its owner.
Oh for an owner with a Shar Pei or a Boxer!
Onward to the stall favoured by those wishing to take their stress out on inanimate china, the crashing and tinkling of breaking crockery to be heard across the recreation ground. 3 balls for 50p has resisted the onset of inflation and the devaluation of sterling for some time now and has to be the best value anywhere! Close by the coconut shy which actually needs a certain degree of accuracy and also…a liking for coconut.
As the first hour whittled away, the PA kept us up to date with the countdown to the star attraction of the whole fete, yes…you guessed it….the Sheep Racing, concerning 6 finely tuned woolly athletes each distinguished by a different colour ribbon. Unless you know a finely turned hoof or had been lurking in nearby fields, colour was really the only form guide.
So the tension mounted for the first race and the sheep shuffled around nervously warming up… “Yellow is looking a bit anxious, Red has done a ewe-turn and oh dear! Green stop that!…” but the Starter can’t wait…They’re off!… and a frantic trudge to the finishing line cheered on by an enthusiastic but slightly bewildered crowd. Forget the colour of the first race winner but he was absolutely magnanimous in his tributes to his flock who had supported him through thick and thin!
The big race was the Royal Oak Handicap sponsored by the local pub and like the sheep that won has a really nice baaaaaar! More races and more excitement, the Tote was doing great business.
Meanwhile the children’s running and sack races were taking place on the cricket square.
The Raffle was drawn, the dog show and dog agility, were over, all the crockery was smashed and the sheep went back to have a rest and rest on their laurels. The dulcet sounds of the Four Tops with “The Same Old Song” rang in our ears as we headed for the Auction of the produce and the bakery goods. Healthy bidding for the Victoria sponges, brownies & stunning array of vegetables took place before everyone either went off home or retired to the local village green to continue festivities gasping now for a few beers or a glass of wine.
A very good day and no doubt .. the same again to look forward to next year!