Arnesby May Fayre 25 May 2009
The 29th annual Arnesby May Fayre provided another fun and value for money day out for the whole family. Over 900 cars and around 4,000 visitors enjoyed the live music, food and drink and the various entertainments provided around the village. Around £8,000 was raised (2008 £5,000) for local organisations and amenities.
Photos of the day» More Photos»
The Fayre started in overcast but dry conditions with a peal of the St Peter’s Church bells. A fairly short shower at noon probably affected attendance during the afternoon but the sun came out later for a very warm end to the day.
Entertainment this year included performances on the green by rock and country band the Lizzards and the string quartet Arcturus gave concerts in St Peter’s church. The Wigston Band were driven into St Peter’s church for the third year by the rain shower but were able to play outside the village hall as usual for the second part of their concert. Regulars Bakanalia, the Border Morris group and Mr Potato Man entertained visitors all around the village. This year a children’s entertainer gave magic, balloon modelling and circus skills lessons to the children. The pupils of the Arnesby Church of England School performed a maypole dance on the green.
The ‘Craft Village’, in its own marquee this year, was bigger and better than previous Fayres and featured demonstrations of traditional crafts including felting, spinning and jewellery making. Model makers demonstrated their painting skills.
There were several displays around the village; steam engines with working agricultural machinery at the Baptist Chapel, water colour paintings by local artist Peter Welton and a large country garden at the peak of condition was open to visitors. Younger children enjoyed lots of activities – games on the Sunnydene lawn including hook a duck, hoopla and a bouncy castle. The skittles and the coconut shy were, as always, very popular. Pony rides were available in the Chapel garden. The ‘Name the Pigs’ competition to guess the names of the ten piglets on the paddock proved a popular event. (The winning entry, with seven names correst was by Emily Gilliam. The full list of names was: Pauline, Petunia, Phoebe, Poppy, Paul, Peter, Philip, Perry, Percy, Patrick)
Centre piece of the day was the ninth running of the three villages 5 mile cross country race which attracted almost 90 runners, many from local running clubs. The adults race with 60 runners was won by Stacey Voss of the Fleckney and Kibworth club in a time of 31.05 with Graeme Slight of Huncote Harriers a few seconds behind. Sam Winters of Leicester TM was the first lady home in 33.10 followed by last year’s winner Laura Davison (West End Runners) in 35.19.
A large field of twenty-eight took part in the junior’s race over a 1½ miles course and it was won by Luke Mathers in 16.30 by seven seconds from Oscar Trier. Charlotte Mathers won the girls race in 21.30. Full results are available here
The usual variety of stalls lined the village roads and offered a diverse range of goods from animal food to hand carved garden decorations to greetings cards and jewellery. Stalls run by villagers did a roaring trade in plants, homemade cakes and preserves, books, ‘good as new’ clothing and glass and china collectables. The raffle, with a £250 prize amongst many others, proved to be popular. (The winner of the first prize was Mr B Tear of Kibworth Beauchamp)
As always there was an impressive variety of food and drink available: tea, coffee, cakes, baguettes, burgers and bangers from several venues with traditional cream teas and candy floss also being served. This year visitors could also try some authentic Thai food. The ice cream stall was kept busy this year and the “Stop me and Buy One” ice cream bicycle proved an popular addition to the Fayre.
Another innovation this year was a tug of war competition – won by Lutterworth Young Farmers who demonstrated that teamwork and technique can overcome brawn.
The day was rounded off for helpers and their family and friends (many of whom also did sterling work during the day) by a ploughman’s supper in the village hall. The organisers would like to thank the many villagers and their friends and families who helped in any way before, during and after the day and without whom the day could not have succeeded.