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Smashing fun and lots more activities at villagers’ fete

Bank Holiday event looks set to raise record funds

Smashing fun and lots more activities at villagers’ fete

PEOPLE had a smashing time at the traditional Yattendon and Frilsham Fete on Bank Holiday Monday.

Opened by Lord Iliffe, the event boasted a host of activities for families to enjoy, including clay pigeon shooting, a tombola and raffle, penalty shoot-out and a bouncy castle – and more unusual games such as Christmas-tree throwing and welly-wanging.

Guests enjoyed a variety of local ales, as well as a Pimms stall, hog roast, barbecue and homemade cakes.

A baking competition also took place for the best fruit cake, as well as a performance from jazz musician Pete Allen, who grew up in Frilsham.

The bank holiday humidity took its toll on the Pimms though, selling out earlier than expected. 

The fete has been part of Yattendon’s history since medieval times, drawing more families in year after year.

The event has donated thousands of pounds to local groups and charities over the years, with the largest to date being £23,000. 

Fete chairwoman Allison Gillespie said: “I think we have had a record year, it was terrific. We had a lot of new events, attractions and stalls so I think it went particularly well.

“What is surprisingly popular is the Aunt Sally, where people just line up to smash china.

“Every year we try to improve, to raise the bar a little bit. I think this year everybody had a fantastic day out.” 

 Mrs Gillespie estimated that more than £20,000 had been raised this year and that planning for next year’s traditional English fete would start in December. 

The fete dates back to medieval times, when The Square was the site of the Yattendon Revel, which legend says commemorates a battle fought in Yattendon Field between Manston Farm and England’s Piece.

The event witnessed a renaissance in the 18th century, when stick-fighting for the prize of a gold-braided hat, worth 27 shillings, became a main event.

Points were awarded when “the blood ran an inch”.

There was also wrestling for a hat, bowls, donkey races and a women’s race for a Holland smock, while old women could win tobacco by grinning through a horse collar.

For more pictures of the event, and more click through to our picture ordering gallery.

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