After months of planning and a weekend fielding questions on social media, email and by phone the day is here!
6am it’s misty and the organisers are already setting out the fields, the first major stalls are already arriving and setting up. By 8am marshalls are already guiding drivers to their pitches to set up, ensuring that they keep their speed down and their hazard lights on, many think once they are past the gate they don’t need to follow the rules. The arena and donkey derby track is marked out, the PA system is set up and the field is starting to look like a fayre. Legal checks are carried out on catering stalls, inflatables, fair rides and because of the impending hot weather check in with the dog show organisers and the vets that are always there with them. Good job too as this year we had a visit from Fareham Borough Council Environmental Health. Pleased to say that they were impressed with everything that everyone does. By 10am the dog show are already taking registrations. Sudden realisation the tote tent and information point needs setting up. The treasurer of the Stubbington Fayre committee has been out several times already with float money and chasing up any stall holders that have not paid their entrance fee – this is how we keep it free for people to attend.
Dustbins are wheeled out from the Crofton Community Centre around the whole ground and the toilets are unlocked that we hire out for everyone to use. The RMVCC arrive and discussions are made about protocols for the equipment they bring and having someone with them at all times. Then show them where the cadets are able to change. The Gosport Brass Band arrive and we need to obtain 30 chairs for them to sit on in the arena.
In between all of this the marshalls team are still guiding people who are there to help run stalls to the area of the fields the stalls are. By 10:30am all organisation stalls, catering stalls, dog show and classic cars are ready and we have loads of people already attending.
The Mayor of Fareham arrives and and the Brass Band are playing in the arena. A Fanfare, the welcome and the official opening.
The Donkeys arrive at 11:30 and the marshall team have to escort the truck and clear all pedestrians from its path. This means upsetting some people who have settled down in the shade. Already people are asking about riding the donkeys and signing up to race.
The fayre is in full swing and everyone is enjoying the warm weather. Queues for food, drinks, ice creams, donkey rides, train rides, have a go on the slides, lots of people enjoying themselves.
Then our on site medical team rush into action as someone has collapsed. The team are then called upon as a 999 ambulance has to attend. Requires clearing the entrance and a pathway for them to attend to the person. Although the person is ok, the person is taken to hospital as a precaution.
It’s at this moment that we realise that surrounding roads are struggling to cope with the number of cars parked. We appreciate the support and patience from the local community for the disruption this can cause.
The information point fields questions about riding donkeys, where the toilets are, provide free message in a bottles, fire notices for those who are disabled or deaf, bookmarks and reusable bags. As well as running the tote for the Donkey Derby.
All too soon it is 4pm and the final donkey race of the day to see who will be the champion! The Mayor presents the trophies and as gratitude for taking time out of their busy schedule the Mayor is presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Clear away time! Marshalls are busy again prevent drivers from moving around whils there are a lot of people on site. Only authorised vehicle movements are allowed until 4:30pm when stall holders can move – a part of our risk assessment requirement for insurance purposes.
By 6pm in the evening the Stubbington Fayre Committee and marshalls have checked that all rubbish has been cleared away, bins returned, chairs, tables returned, arena dismantled and the gate locked.
Thank you to all who support Stubbington Fayre, the people who attend, the organisations that benefit from everyone’s support.
If you would like to be involved in the organisation and live in Stubbington then please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or turn up to one of our meetings at the Golden Bowler.