Despite forecasts of showers and a new location, large crowds still turned out for an afternoon of fun and family entertainment at what has become a regular feature of summer in Ben Rhydding.
Despite the wet outlook, the sun shone, the crowds arrived and the sixth Ben Rhydding Community Fete, at its new temporary site on the former middle School field, marked up another success. “We were all mightily relieved!” sighed Fete organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan
Present at the official opening along with Mrs Palframan were Cllr Heathcliffe Bowen, Chair of Ilkley Parish Council, David Wood of the 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron Air Training Corps (A.T.C.) and 9 year old Eve Dawson, a pupil at Sacred Heart School and winner of the programme cover competition.
With the theme of the Fete this year being the 70th anniversary of the A.T.C., the entertainment programme in the arena featured music from the A.T.C. Band, as well as a performance from the Wright Theatre Arts Dance Academy, songs from a group led by 15 year old Frankie Burgess of the Joze School of Dance and, for the first time, a demonstration of Raks Zina belly dancing, with the opportunity for those brave enough, to join in.
As well as all the usual stalls and attractions, new to the Fete this year were the Wharfedale Quilters with a creative and colourful display of patchwork quilts and artwork. “It was wonderful too,” said Mrs Palframan, “to be joined by 1st Ben Rhydding Scouts who created a mini camp site, complete with flag pole and a demonstration of outdoor cooking.”
With a variety of cakes and buns, the tea tent was a popular spot as was the beer tent with beer supplied by Ilkley Brewery and The Wheatley Arms.
“We are especially thankful to the Wheatley Arms as well as the Parish Council and Audley Clevedon for their sponsorship of the event,” said Mrs Palframan, “ and to other local businesses and the Ilkley Tennis and Squash Club for providing generous prizes for the raffle. The fete is a non-profit making event, but the raffle along with donations at the gate, help offset costs.”
Usually held on Bolling Road field, the Fete had to relocate this year because of building work going on there. “But,” added Mrs Palframan, “it worked well and we would be very interested to have any feedback from those who were there about what they thought of the new venue, and which site they would prefer for next year’s event.”
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