Written by Sue Boerrigter

For once, the weather forecast was spot-on. At the end of what had been a very showery week, the rain held off long enough last Saturday for a fun-filled afternoon and a great turnout
at the Ben Rhydding Community Fete.  Ilkley Parish Council Chairman Councillor Dave Roberts and 10-year-old Catherine Proctor of Sacred Heart School, winner of the poster competition for the cover of the fete programme, officially opened the event.  In his opening remarks, Cllr. Roberts said he was delighted to be present at this, the third Ben
Rhydding fete, which gets better each year.
With games, tombolas, a variety of demonstrations and entertainments stalls selling everything from plants and cards to books and bric-a-brac, there was something for everyone. Dance performances came from TranscenDance, Wright Theatre Arts, and the Joze School of Dance. There was the sound of Brass from the 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron Air Training Corps and demonstrations by members of the Ilkley Karate Club.

Amongst local charities’ stalls, Tommi and Oliver Townsend raising funds for West Yorkshire Animals in Need said, “This year it’s for baby hedgehogs, rescued after having been washed
out of nests during such a wet spring.”
With the aroma of freshly baked Welsh cakes, Brian Gregory, former vicar of St. John’s Ben Rhydding drew crowds eager to sample them and give a donation to the Friendship Foundation helping orphans in Romania.
Other refreshments included a beer tent run by the Save Us Pub campaign, a barbecue with burgers and hot dogs and cream and strawberry scones in the tea tent, all accompanied by jazz played by the local band Quintessential.
After the raffle was drawn towards the end of the afternoon, many lingered while the jazz band played on, and all agreed there was a great atmosphere and real warmth, despite a lack of sunshine.
Local resident Mr Terry Hennessey said, “It’s a really great community event. Ben Rhydding is lovely village and this shows it at its best.” Mrs Leah Makuyi said it was great to see all the local community together, while her daughter, Leylah, who had taken art in one of the dance demonstrations, said simply, “Awesome!”