Traditional English Summer Village Fetes in the West Country
Being brought up in the countryside I realise was an absolute privilege. Now I’m delighted that, like many people who escape in their 20s for the bright lights of a city, I’m firmly back where I started. One of my childhood memories is of an annual event, which blurs into just one day – the village fete in my home of Dalwood. Now with children of my own the traditional English village fete, fair (or even fayre) has come back onto the list of things to do over the summer.
For children of all ages there are amusing games of chance, hoopla, tombola, guess the number of sweets in a jar or balloons in a car, lucky dip and one of my favourites, the human fruit machine.
Add in a cake stall, raffle, local produce, home made jewellery, arts, crafts and second hand books and hold it all together with music, displays from majorettes, birds of prey or agility dogs, Morris dancers and Punch and Judy. Of course, let’s not forget the beer and tea tents when you need a rest from all the excitement and really you’ve got something for everyone.
Have you seen ferret racing before? Take a look, it’s great fun!
These summer fetes are pulled together by bands of enthusiastic volunteers who give up large amounts of time and often physical energy to get the show on the road. They really do represent everything good about British society; volunteering, co-operation, organisation skills that frankly exceed those of some major corporations, and ultimately fund raising for local causes.
I want to help advertise some of these summer extravaganzas so take a look at these events and I hope you can support one near you.
Village Summer Fetes and Fairs
Stockland Village Fair
Monday 27th May 2019
Uplyme Village Fair
Saturday 8th June 2019
UPLYME AND LYME REGIS SUMMER SHOW AND COUNTRY FAYRE
Saturday 13th July 1pm -5pm 2019
Locals compete and show off their skills in gardening, crafts, photography and baking and preserves. This year’s theme is Celebrating the Potato, with ten classes that feature potatoes spread across Fruit and Vegetables, Fun, Cookery, Floral Art, Craft, Photography and the Junior Section, plus a record number of entries in the ever-popular Potato in a Bucket competition.
Other attractions on the day include:
Family Dog Show, circus kills, Uplyme Morris, Train Rides, Craft stalls, Coconut shy, Bouncy castle, Butterfly Conservation, Rousdon Spinners. There will be music throughout the afternoon with sessions by HiDDeN, a blues, folk and popular soft-rock band, and by the Lyme Regis Town Band.
Held at Uplyme playing field. More details look at their website here.
Kilmington Village Fayre
Saturday 27th July 2019
Traditional fete set on the large level playing field in this lovely East Devon village near Axminster. From 1pm
Munchkins Miniature Shetland Pony Summer Fair
Set up in 2013, Munchkins rescues abandoned, abused and neglected Shetland ponies to a sanctuary in East Devon. It’s heart breaking to hear some of the circumstances that these adorable little animals find themselves in and you really have to wonder that humans can be so cruel.
The charity currently has over 20 ponies in its care. The aim is to rehome them, although unfortunately this is not always possible, some never recover enough physically or psychologically from their past life. Raising money is a key aspect.
Not surprisingly mis-treated animals need more than their fair share of vet attention, medication and good quality food (natural herbs and alternative therapies are also used to help the ponies).For the last few years the team have organised their own summer fete each year in August which is proving a great success for them. See below for details.
Munchkins Shetland Pony Summer Fair
Sunday 4th August 2019
Head along and join in the summer fun from 11am, children can groom a pony and there will be all sorts of fun. Munchkins Barn, nr Colyton, EX24 6HU
Here’s a link to their website: click here
Dalwood Village Fair
Saturday 17 August 2019
Starts with a children’s themed fancy dress, judging at 1.30. Entrants then parade and the main gates open at 2pm, £2.50 adults, children free.
Previously featuring Horsemen of the Knight (equestrian stunt team), a dog agility display and much more.
One of the oldest village fairs in the South West, this event never fails to please. Follow the signs for parking. Teas are at the old school site (Folly Nursery) which is the village recreation field.
Seward’s Coaches will provide a bus service to and from the fair from Axminster and Honiton.
Hawkchurch Village Fair
Monday 26th August 2019
The main fair on Bank Holiday Monday at 2pm is preceded by a week of local fun activities such as Family Beetle Drive (a bit like playing hangman) and Bingo. There will also be a Companion Dog Show on the Monday as a side attraction to the main fete. All different categories from pedigree to best young handler. Main Fete from 2pm.
More details on the village’s facebook page
Chardstock Village Street Fayre
Saturday 7th Sept 2019
Starts 11am. Another great local fete that spreads itself out across the village featuring all sorts of activities.
A lovely way to end the summer with the event stretching into the evening with live music.
More details via facebook: Chardstock Street Fayre
Other Great Events
Lots of fun for all ages and remember you are supporting local organisations and charities by taking part.
P.S: Footwear tip- flip flops are usually great for a village fete unless we’ve had some rain, then you will need your wellies!