17th June 2017 Fete report

A beautiful unbroken blue sky and hot sun helped to make last Saturday’s 12th Ben Rhydding Community Fete a roaring success. A warm welcome and official opening by Cllr. Stephen Butler, chairman of Ilkley Parish Council, was followed by a wonderful toe-tapping rock and roll set from The Fast Rattlers to get everyone in a great mood. Other events in the two hours of arena entertainment included a display by Ilkley Gymnastics Club, dancing from both Raks Zina and Joze School of Dance, singing from Ben Rhydding Community Choir and a raffle draw with prizes generously donated by local businesses.
The happy crowd enjoyed the regular pleasures of the tea tent, barbecue, beer tent, ice cream van, tombolas and crafts, and a multitude of stalls manned by local clubs, charities and uniformed groups attracted a lot of attention. In addition there was the opportunity to participate in golf, croquet, bowling and a bouncy castle for those still feeling energetic in the hot sunshine.
A Scarecrow Garden featured many of the film-themed scarecrows from the second Ben Rhydding Scarecrow Festival in aid of the Bradford Marie Curie Hospice and kindly sponsored by the Wheatley Arms. The winners of the various competition categories were announced during the fete: Best Scarecrow – 1st French Connection, 2nd Shrek, 3rd James Bond – Man with the Golden Gun; Best Street – St Johns Rd; Quiz trail winner – Freya Hein.
As usual St. John’s Church played a large part in the festivities, providing amongst other things the tea tent with hot and cold drinks and delicious home-made cakes, gate stewards and a “Messy Church” activity tent. The very popular barbecue was once again organised by the local Scouts, whilst there were games, a bottle tombola, cakes and produce on offer from the local Cubs, Brownies and Guides. Special thanks are due to Ilkley Parish Council, The Wheatley Arms and Audley Clevedon for their continued support.
The Fete has been bringing the community together since 2006 and is held from 2.00pm to 4.00pm on the third Saturday in June each year on the former field of Ilkley Middle School between Valley Drive and Wheatley Lane. With no charge for admission and a free programme, it is an event for all ages which has grown substantially and is now a highlight of the summer for the local residents and the many visitors who come from far and wide. “The Fete was created to bring the community together for a fun-filled, free afternoon and to create a sense of community spirit” said Fete Committee Chairman, Mrs Karen Palframan. She added, “We were delighted that so many people came to enjoy the event, and hope to continue for many more years. We would really appreciate extra volunteers to come and help behind the scenes, and on the day”. Contact details are on the website.
Make a note in your diaries now – the next Fete will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 16th June 2018.