Written by Sue Boerrigter

A wet start to the day could not dampen the spirits of the crowds who flocked to Bolling Road field last Saturday afternoon, where the the fourth Ben Rhydding Community Fete provided a fun-filled family occasion.

Now firmly established as an annual event, the fete was officially opened jointly by Mr Brian Mann, Vice Chair of the Parish Council and Orla Regan (10), a pupil at Ben Rhydding Primary School and winner of the poster competition for the cover of the fete programme.

After remarks from organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan, the Rev. Arnold Clay of Ben Rhydding Methodist Church and Mrs Carry Lynott, Head of Ben Rhydding Primary School each referred to the theme for the programme cover this year with both school and church currently celebrating their centenaries.

Mrs Lynott invited visitors to go and see an exhibition, marking the school’s centenary, in the school hall, and to enjoy some activities organised by the children in the playground.

On the field meanwhile,the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) hosted a Flower and Produce Show and with a variety of demonstrations and entertainments, games, tombolas, face-painting and stalls selling everything from plants and cards to books and bric-a-brac, there was something for all ages.

Dance performances came from the Wright Theatre Arts Dance Academy 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. Between these activities, music was provided by a local jazz band. Together they provided a dazzling array of sights and sounds.

But there was plenty for the tastebuds too. 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 (UK-Romania), helping orphans in Romania.

A barbecue with burgers and hot dogs was raising money for a school and orphanage in Matugga, Uganda, whilst other refreshments included afternoon teas and a beer tent run by the Save Us Pub group.

The pub has been saved and The Wheatley Arms, which opens this week, donated a keg of beer as well as a generous prize for the raffle.

Organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan, said, “We really are grateful to so many local businesses for their support each year and for providing raffle prizes, to the local Scout and Guide leaders for all their assistance, and to the whole community for this great turn-out, which has made today such a success despite that unpromising start!”