For the first time for many years, the church in Sibford decided, under the inspirational ideas of Robin Spicer, to hold a Festival Weekend over the Spring Holiday period.
Various people, male & female, decorated the church – itself not an easy task, since there are few handy ledges or alcoves in our Victorian building – with a profusion of flowers of nearly every colour. We thank especially those who donated their flowers, thereby enabling the final profit to be that much higher.
Organists, young & slightly older, played for most of the Saturday opening, taped organ music was otherwise available, and the Hook Norton Silver Band ended its involvement with a sterling rendering of some nine well-loved hymns on the Sunday evening. They had earlier tried to play outside, but the flashing behaviour of the sky, which led to some deposit of rain upon the parched surface of Sibford, had driven them indoors – trombones & cornets prefer to gain merely internal dampness from the players’ efforts!
Much food provision took place within the Village Hall – and some villagers enjoyed ploughman’s lunches and/or cream teas over the entire weekend! Our thanks, of course, to those who prepared and to those who served the food – and sometimes they were the same people.
The Bank Holiday morning provided eager bargain-hunters with the chance to examine car boots of different shapes & sizes – although the experience of having your boot thoroughly inspected before you have turned the engine off was a new sensation for several first- time boot-owners!
The Monday afternoon was filled with the sound of merry-making as bells rang, skittles flew and tills tinkled – and some skin burned as well! Bottles were won in abundance and fruit machines whirred – even human ones! Dutch sliding games, white elephants and plants were also featured.
Lots of people came – one flower lady, passing through from Durham, said the arrangers had done well (although we knew that) – and some came more than once.
As I said before, Robin Spicer had the original idea and all credit is due to him for the overall planning in the church. The fete was in the hands of Erica Wimbush and the catering was principally the labour of Gillian Soden & Anne Spicer with lots of help, not least from Phyllis Webb.
There were three good causes destined to profit from the weekend – Katherine House Hospice, London Lighthouse Hospice and the church itself. A simple three-way split of profits was made, with each benefiting equally – to the tune of just over £360 each.
Additionally, the Katherine House Hospice stall raised some £215 and Helen Soden‘s Calcutta Rescue stall/boot raised about £161.
Expenses for the weekend had to be met, made up of catering costs, the band, the flowers and advertising; these totalled just over £434. The organiser has a full printed list, should anyone wish to see it, as has the Rectory and the Church noticeboard.
We may well do something similar in years to come, particularly since the villagers supported this initial exercise so encouragingly. Thank you all for your generous support