A quiet day after all the excitement of the wedding. Being the the May Bank Holiday it was the day of the Clavering Fete which has become so renown that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people, from miles distant, attending with their children. Sadly the fete is not what it used to be when we first came here, almost half a century ago. (Why is it that old people always say that sort of thing, to some extent there must be some truth there somewhere.)
In the early 60s the fete was a genuine village affair. We bowled for a pig – a real little piglet-which the farmer was always prepared to buy back for cash if you really did more to keep it. We had skittles and the greasy pole and throwing sponges at the vicar, schoolteacher or any other local volunteer, who was repaired to stick his head through a hole in the wall.
Of course they are stall where you could throw balls to smash crockery in order to get rid of any venom or excess of energy. There was great rivalry in a tug-of-war between two local pubs, the Axe & Compasses, from the adjacent village, Arkesden, and our own pub, The Cricketers. There may have been a beer tent, I cannot remember. There certainly were not rows and rows of stalls of people trying to sell you things. There was certainly a Lucky Dip in a brand tub and, of course, a bottle stall to which we all contributed. Throughout the day there were many events organised specifically for the children, including dancing round the neighbourhood clutching multi-coloured ribbons and as a result it was always a very jolly day out for the family.
Anyway, this year we decided not to go. For two reasons.’My lovely’ was still recovering from her liver attack and I felt it would do no harm for her to have another restful day and, in addition, the weather looked threatening and it rains more often than not on the Clavering Fete. Having said that I hope they made lots and lots of money for the church roof and the village hall.
Jill Simpson, one of the old faithfuls, dropped in mid-afternoon for a short period. Having just returned from America to see her latest grandchild. It’s always good to see Jill. David