The dark, black clouds that threatened the 13th Ben Rhydding Community Fete on Saturday, held off miraculously until the scheduled close at 4pm and allowed the event to be another great success.

Ben Rhydding’s free community get-together was opened officially by Ilkley Town Council chairman and mayor, Cllr. Stephen Butler. Local MP John Grogan also visited the Fete later in the afternoon to enjoy the entertainment and the numerous stalls and activities.

The Scarecrow Garden featured many of the TV-themed scarecrows from the third Ben Rhydding Scarecrow Festival in aid of the Bradford Marie Curie Hospice. The winners of the competition categories, sponsored by the Wheatley Arms, were announced during the Fete: Best Scarecrow – Paddington Bear by Ben Rhydding Guides; Best Scarecrow by a business – Marge Simpson by Barnetts Hairdressers; Quiz trail winner – Sarah Elliott. The Marie Curie fund raisers also organised football and unridable bike challenges at the Fete and, together with the Scarecrow trail, raised £366. They would like to thank all those who took part and made some really excellent scarecrows.

The Fete’s first dog show proved very popular, and is set to become a permanent feature. The judge from Bark! dog walking had a challenging time choosing the winners, but there were treats for all the canine entrants, as well as rosettes and prizes for 1st – 3rd in each class, kindly donated by Ashlands Vets and Tyler James Pet Supplies. “We were a little concerned that we wouldn’t have many entrants, but needn’t have worried”, said Fete organiser Karen Palframan. She added “we will build on the show’s success and add more classes next year. We would like to thank everyone who entered, and are particularly grateful to Amanda Lambert and her family who ran the show so expertly”.

Local band The Fast Rattlers launched the two hours of arena entertainment with their upbeat rock and roll set, and was followed by superbdancing and gymnastics displays by Joze School of Dance, Ilkley Gymnastics Club and WTA Dance Academy. There was delightful singing from Ben Rhydding Community Choir and MOSS (Men Only Singing Songs), followed by jazz from Singe’n’Swing.  heavy downpour at 4pm briefly interrupted the raffle draw, but not for long, and Singe’n’Swing refused to let it stop the fun they were having with an impromptu jam session with The Fast Rattlers.

Visitors enjoyed the regular delights of the tea tent, barbecue, beer tent, ice cream van, tombolas and sporting challenges, and a multitude of stalls manned by local clubs, charities and uniformed groups attracted a lot of attention. St. John’s Church once again brought some of their monthly ‘Messy Church’ family activities to the Fete, and The Play Station provided a fun, free junk modellingsession.  

It was another lovely afternoon with a very enjoyable atmospheresaid organiser Karen Palframan. “We are very grateful to the Town Council, Audley Clevedon and The Wheatley Arms for their ongoing support. We are still looking for more admin help behind the scenes, so please get in touch if you can support the Fete with this”. Contact details are on the website.

Make a note in your diaries now – the Fete takes place on the 3rd Saturday in June, so it will run from 2-4pm on 15th June 2019.

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