The sun did its best to make an appearance for the Gislingham Fair on Saturday 29th June. Events started off with a procession by the Silver Band from the Six Bells to the school playing fields where the various stalls were set up. For the rest of the afternoon, there were stalls from various village organisations, games and demonstrations on the field, music, and barbecued food and of course the beer tent!
Kicking off, there was a fancy dress competition for some of the children, judged by Julia Lady Henniker and Diana Kearsley. There were some impressive costumes and they weren’t only being worn by the children. But it was all good natured – and there were no tears when the winner was announced – partially because there were sweets for ALL the participants!
The Variety Club had a stall and they were aiming to attract some of the younger members of the village to take part in the children’s pantomime based on A Christmas Carol that they will be running towards the end of the year. It was … interesting … to be hearing Christmas tunes in the background at the village Fair in June!
But it wasn’t Christmas music that prompted the ladies from the village’s Zumba classes to get up, uniformed in magenta and black, to perform in almost perfect synchronisation some of the Zumba routines that are used for excellent exercise at the regular classes at the village hall. And the fact the demonstration went on for a little while showed that the fitness benefits are pretty impressive – some of the observers were pretty exhausted just watching!
After the Zumba came the dog show, which attracted a significant number of entries from the canine population of the village. Categories included the best behaved, the dog with the waggiest tail, and the dogs that could do the most impressive tricks. If they were that clever, of course, they’d have been taking part in the Zumba demonstration …
Then Jo Pitt, representing the First Responders, helped a young volunteer give a demonstration on how to carry out resuscitation on someone who had experienced difficulties – fortunately only having a dummy to practice on, although given that the next event was going to involve adults – some of whom had been frequenting the beer tent – taking part in a sack race who knew whether those skills would be called upon very soon?
But of course when it came to the sack race, it was the youngsters who really excelled – some of them apparently hardly touching the ground at all as they made their way to the finish line. However, it was mostly the younger ones – once we got to the age for children that attend Hartismere it presumably just wasn’t cool enough to attract all those that were present to cast aside teenage self-consciousness and jump around like a mad thing in a hessian sack. No pleasing some people.
With more and more people in the village keeping chickens, we needed something to do with all those surplus eggs, so an egg and spoon race was next on the agenda, with some very skilled balancing acts impressing and delighting the crowd. One or two eggs did go astray in the event – although since they were already hard boiled the damage was less than might be expected. Is it just us, or is that cheating?
Anyway, well done to everyone that took part, everyone that came, and all the stallholders raising money for great causes. It was a highly enjoyable day, and just another reminder of all the things that people get up to in Gislingham!