Crowds on The Lawn for the Fete.

A very large crowd of local residents and visitors to our town enjoyed an afternoon of fun activities on The Lawn – the home of professor Denning and his family – for the annual Church Fête.

Hundreds of people – young, old, single, couples and families – all took part in various games, activities, entertainment and ate tasty food; in order to help raise much needed funds for churches.

A preliminary count reveals that just about £5000 was raised on the day, which will go to a variety of good causes including the upkeep of the centuries-old All Hallows church.

l to r: Sir George Young (MP), Cllr Allan Vaughan (town councillor), Prof. Denning (host), Cllr Tom Thacker (Hampshire County)

Local attending dignitaries included several town councillors, including our mayor, Councillor Barry Jackman and his wife Sandra; Hampshire County Councillor Tom Thacker, who brought along his young son; and Sir George Young, our MP and Leader of the House, who brought along a bottle of House of Commons whiskey to be raffled off.

The Reverend Kelvin Inglis said:

“People often tell me that the churches of our parish are an important part of the life of our community. Many local people cross the threshholds either occasionally or regularly through the year. Although our aim is to give everyone a really enjoyable day out, the money that comes in from the Fete helps us to keep our churches running. We try to be good stewards of our funds, however, and each year we actually give away more of our income to a range of charities than the Fete raises.”

Rev.Kelvin Inglis aims high.

Sir George Young, MP said:

“It was great to look in on the All Hallows Church fete on the famous Denning lawn. Well done to all the stall holders and arena display folk for a marvellous afternoon’s entertainment.”

The mayor, Cllr Jackman, said:

“I thought the Church fete was a fantastic community event bringing so many strands of local life together.

Various groups taking part in the displays and the good balance of stalls in such a fantastic setting, The Lawn, with wide grassed area leading down to the river Test and the bridges across to the island makes it one of the best and most popular venues for any fete locally.

The mayoress and I, our daughter, son and daughter in law, and the grandchildren all enjoyed trying out the various activities but especially enjoyed the very popular game of trying to guess what was in the 17 cotton bags tied and hanging on a rope between two poles, I wonder how many we got right ?

We congratulate the team who, with much hard work, brought together such an enjoyable event. We very much look forward to next year.”

Local resident, and publican, Andy Moss – whose White Hart sponsored the extremely popular Pimms booth – said:

“Julie and I think that the fete was fantastic and it was great to see so many people from town come out on a lovely afternoon to support the parish fete and help raise much needed funds. Also it was amazing to see how many local businesses sponsored the event and that has to be a big credit to the organisers for a job well done. Not being biased but the pimms stand was amazing – what better way to spend time in the sun than with a glass of pimms? The kids had a fab time and loved all the kids games espeically throwing the ball into the clowns mouth, which raised a laugh every time. Euan loved the fact that Stagecoach were there as he really wants to go in the summer. Big thank you from all of us for a fantastic afternoon.”

More photos are on the photographer’s personal website HERE.