Ben Rhydding Community Fete 29.6.13
With a wide variety of activities, stalls, demonstrations and refreshments, the eighth Ben Rhydding Community Fete provided a fun-filled afternoon for all ages last Saturday afternoon.
Held from 2-4pm on the former middle school field on Valley Drive, it was officially opened by Parish Council Chairman Councillor Mike Gibbons, along with organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan and 6 year old Lily Mercer. Lily, with her picture of a three scoop ice cream cornet, had won a schools’ competition to provide artwork for the front cover of the fete programme.
Once officially opened, a full line-up of events and demonstrations in the main arena kicked off with songs from the Ben Rhydding Community Choir, led by musician and composer Keely Hodgson. These were followed by dance demonstrations from the Wright Theatre Arts Dance Academy, more song and dance from the Joze School of Dance and belly-dancing from Raks Zina.
Meanwhile around the arena, as the sun came out, a wide variety of local clubs, societies and charities manned their stalls, parading their wares or causes, offering games and selling everything from books to toys and plants to mugs, thus raising their respective profiles in the community.
Youngsters could have their faces painted or play on a bouncy castle, while for those with sporting inclinations, there was the chance to try croquet and hockey, or golf, with the juniors from Ben Rhydding Golf Club offering the “Rory McIroy Washing Machine Challenge”.
A tea tent, run by the St. John’s, Ben Rhydding branch of the Mothers’ Union, offered hot and cold drinks with an array of delectable home-made cakes, whilst for refreshments of a different kind, there was a beer tent, sponsored by the Wheatley Arms, warm Welsh cakes, a barbecue offering hot dogs and burgers, and ice cream.
The afternoon was punctuated musically, by sets from local jazz band, Singe’n’Swing and concluded with the draw for the Prize Raffle. “We’re always so grateful to all the wonderful local businesses who support us so generously with these prizes,” said Mrs Palframan, “The fete is a free community event and doesn’t set out to make money, but the raffle really helps towards offsetting many of the expenses incurred in its organisation.” Raffle prizes this year were donated by The Wheatley Arms, Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, the Cow and Calf Hotel and Martinez Wines, as well as Ben Rhydding shops: Barnetts, Stephen Furniss, the Green Room and the Red Pepper Deli.
Once again the Fete was supported by the Parish Council and also Audley Clevedon Retirement Village. This year the Clevedon Restaurant provided biscuits for children to decorate which was a popular new activity. New too was a creative arts zone and sand play area provided by the St. John’s “Messy Church” team.
As the annual summer event drew to a close last weekend, Mrs Palframan thanked the committee and reflected : “The weather was with us, the crowds came out, and I think it’s been the most successful fete to date” Ben Rhydding resident, Mr Andrew Munro agreed: “A delightful afternoon,” was his considered opinion.