Report on the 2015 fete

Thank you to all who helped with and came to the Fete on Whit Monday. Particular thanks go to Mr and Mrs Georg von Opel and all their staff who generously allowed us to invade for the weekend.

The fete was formally opened by our new MP, Kit Malthouse, who with his wife and two children hotfooted it from the Highclere game show to be with us; he was very complimentary about our set up! The weather was kind which encouraged lots of visitors – at a guess we think about 700 and it also meant that we can report a bumper income. The provisional figures show that we made over £9,000 on the day and hopefully, including donations and after expenses are taken out it should be nearer £12,000.

Thanks should also go to Chris Wilkes and Mel Akhurst, who once again arranged the most wonderful display of vintage cars, with full notes on each as well as providing a racing car for future petrol-heads to sit in, helmet and all, and a ‘guess the number of balloons’ competition.

Enormous hugs go to everyone who made the day such a happy one; Mat Reece and his team who took 2 groups on a tour of the gardens; the ever cheerful gate keepers, James and Lucy d’Albuquerque and Hugh Cobbe; the amazing WI tea ladies; the Houghton family from St Martin’s School who ran the toy tent, just to mention a few and the hoards of willing volunteers who put up the tents – and admittedly, drank beer, courtesy of our inside connection with Sambrooks Brewery, manned the stalls and sideshows all afternoon, put it all away at the end of the day and still had the energy to gather at the Furze Bush for a final celebration!

Thank you one and all.

Sarah Ede

Report on the 2014 fete

In 2014 we all got very wet…

…but no one got stuck in the mud and the day was a huge success. We had fewer visitors than last year, but in spite of that, the provisional figures show that we made about £6,000. We were really pleased to be able to have the Community First Responders and Neighbourcare, who we supported last year, showing us what they do in the community, as well as the East Woodhay History Society and a representative from the National Trust for the Sandham Memorial Chapel. The whole Guild team rolled into action and came up trumps. Enormous thanks go to everyone who made the day such a happy one; the fully waterproofed car parkers; the ever cheerful gate keepers, James and Lucy d’Albuquerque and Hugh Cobbe; the amazing WI tea ladies; the Barker family from St Martin’s School who ran the toy tent and the hoardes of willing volunteers who put up the tents – and admittedly, drank beer, courtesy of our inside connection with Sambrooks Brewery, manned the stalls and sideshows all afternoon, put it all away at the end of the day and still had the energy to gather at the Furze Bush for a final celebration!

After the fete, St Martin’s Guild committee met to decide how to distribute the funds raised. As usual the majority of our donation went to St Martin’s Church to help towards the upkeep and maintenance of the fabric of the building, however, we also helped local groups, organisations and village projects. If you are involved in any of these and would like to be considered for a donation from the profits in the future, please contact Sarah Ede or any of the other committee members, briefly outlining the aim of your venture and what the money would be used for.

Sarah Ede

Report on the 2013 fete

The fete this year (2013) was held at Malverleys, East End and we would like to thank Georg and Emily von Opel for their generosity, particularly allowing 2 groups of visitors to be taken round the newly developing gardens.

St Martin’s Guild was founded in 1908 as a means to provide funds for the church, by the sale of needlework by its members. Over the last 100 years the Guild fete in East Woodhay has become not only the best known fete in the area, but the main source of much needed funds for the upkeep and maintenance of St Martin’s Church, as well as financial support for local groups, organisations and village projects. In recent years we have helped with financing the resurfacing of the tennis court at Heath End, refurbishment of the playground at Heath End, supporting the EW WI as well as consistently contributing to St Martin’s School. All the money raised is donated within the Parish.

This year Colin Thomas brought his dog agility team providing a 45 minute demonstration in the central arena. This was followed by a fun dog show, with 3 classes; ‘dog with the best wag’,’ best puppy’, and ‘dog the judge would like to take home’. Once the dogs had cleared we finished up with children’s races – we even had an ‘over 21’s’ sack race.

There was a superb vintage car display, provided by proud local owners and the Hampshire Police came with their police car, sirens blazing and bravely allowed children to climb all over it

Our stalls and sideshows included Sarah Porter’s renowned plant stall and a hugely successful raffle both of which raised over £2,000. Innovations this year were a beer and Pimms tent, which was very popular and the old White Elephant stall renamed themselves the East Woodhay Artisans, augmenting their usual wares to include beautiful handmade gifts, which takes us right back to the origins of the fete!

The Guild committee would like to thank everyone who was involved and contributed to the setting up and running of the fete; we have brilliant stallholders, tea ladies and sideshow helpers, without whom we would not be able to put on such a successful event. Thank you all, we would be lost without our band of stalwart workers.

Particular thanks should also go to our sponsors, whose generous donations covered all the fete expenses so that everything we made on the day is available for distribution.

We are delighted to report that once all the final costs had been settled we made an overall profit of just over £11,500. From this we have made donations to:

  • St Martin’s PCC – to go into the St Martin’s Guild Fund, which finances the upkeep, maintenance and repairs of the church.
  • East Woodhay WI – to help towards the costs of their guest speakers.
  • Community First Responders – to cover the cost of a second pager for 3 years
  • East Woodhay and Highclere Neighbourcare – to contribute towards the cost of running their website.

If you know of a local community project or activity which would like to be considered for a donation, please contact Sarah Ede or any of the committee members.

Sarah Ede