Written by Sue Boerrigter

A chilly but dry start to the afternoon, saw Bolling Road field abuzz last Saturday afternoon, when the fifth Ben Rhydding Community Fete provided a fun-filled family occasion.

After a welcome from organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan, the fete was officially opened jointly by Cllr. Heathcliffe Bowen, Vice Chair of Ilkley Parish Council and Rebecca Munro (8), a pupil at Ben Rhydding Primary School and  winner of the competition for the front cover of the fete programme.

The theme for this year’s Fete was “Anniversaries”, with the Ben Rhydding Playgroup celebrating its fortieth and the Wheatley Arms its first after it re-opened last summer.

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Ben Rhydding Primary School hosted a Flower and Produce Show and Ilkley Community Transport brought along a minibus to advertise their services. With a variety of demonstrations, 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.

Children of the Wright Theatre Arts Dance Academy danced to songs from “Thriller”, Joze School of Dance performed a medley from “Grease” and along with their instructors, young members of the Ilkley Karate Club gave highly skilled demonstrations of martial arts.   Between these activities, music was provided by a local jazz band and the swing band, Timeless.  The sun came out and together, all made for an afternoon of dazzling sights and sounds.

There was plenty for the tastebuds too. A barbecue with burgers and hot dogs was raising money for a school and orphanage in Matugga, Uganda, whilst other refreshments included afternoon teas, a beer tent run by the ‘Saved Us Pub’ group and the Wheatley Arms, and Brian Gregory, former vicar of St. John’s Ben Rhydding, selling his home-made Welsh cakes for the Friendship Foundation (UK-Romania) which helps orphans in Romania.

Admission to the Fete is free, with the costs being covered largely by donations, support from the Parish Council and programme sponsorship.  Local businesses once again donated some very generous raffle prizes including a wonderful bouncy castle cake from Cherie’s cakes of Ilkley.

Organiser, Mrs Karen Palframan, said, “As always, we are really are grateful to the many volunteers who give their time to assist with the running of the fete, not least to the local Cub and Guide leaders.  The fete is run by the community, for the community. We had a great turn-out which has made today another wonderful success.”