Fete Accompli – in 1993

Country Tales – Fete Accompli

(Click here for Part 1 & Part 2)

White elephants, monster marrows – the village fete has a formula that seldom varies. But it’s quintessential to the British summer.

Report by: Alan Bestic

Photos: Homer Sykes

MRS JAKIE ARKELL HANDS ORGANISER DEREK EDWARDS THE NUMBER FOR THE WINNING RAFFLE TICKET.

A quarter of a century ago Eastleach Turville villagers either owned or had jobs on the land; they owned their houses or lived in tied cottages. Today many have been forced to seek work away from the village and, because only a handful of council houses have been built, many people have had to move out.

Their places have been taken to some extent by comfortably off newcomers who have either retired to Eastleach Turville or who use it as a commuting base. Even this influx is slow, however, because only one new house has been built since the second world war. Incomers have to wait for houses to become vacant.

Unusually, perhaps, there is no undercurrent of enmity between old-timers and newcomers.

“People move here because they love the village and respect the Villagers,” says Trish Haynes, a parish council member born in Eastleach.

“They don’t try to change it because they don’t want it changed, None of us wants it changed.”

The solidarity manifests itself in actions. Last May flash floods brought chaos to the village. Every able-bodied villager was out immediately with brushes, buckets and wellies to help those less able. They needed no asking,

Village fetes are fun, but they have a serious purpose – raising money for the community, which in Eastleach Turville means for St Andrew’s Church and the village hall. The church needs funding because parishiners have to raise £5,000 a year towards costs in the Gloucestershire diocese, a considerable sum for a village with just 286 on its voting register.

The village hall costs about £200 a year to run. It is home to the village playgroup, the Friendship circle for onver-60s, the gardening club, local shows and meetings and, one morning a week, to the mobile post office.

In 1992 the fete raised £2,280, and last year £1,940.

‘ENGLISH VILLAGE FETE’, DEREK EDWARDS, ONE OF THE ORGANISERS OF THE EAST LEACH TURVILLE VILLAGE FETE, PROCLAIMING THE WINNER OF THE RAFFLE TICKET COMPETITION.

 

Eastleach Fete 2018 – In Pictures – Click Here

 

Eastleach Fete 2017 – In Pictures – Click Here

 

Photography by kind permission of Homer Sykes