The Beaulieu Village Fete July 19, 2014

The Beaulieu Village Fete was held on the Saturday of a week when dire weather was confidently predicted over Southern England.  Indeed, there were spectacular thunder and lightning displays on the Thursday evening; Friday was dry to allow the Fete to be set up, but on Friday night it rained heavily. 

However, only light rain fell on the Saturday morning, clearing away by 9.00 am.  Torrential rain was still predicted but it did not happen!  The fete was held in dry and sunny weather, to the astonishment of all of us.  The geographical oddity of the south of the New Forest once again came to our aid, and heavy storms and flash flooding happened elsewhere!

The attendance was slightly up on previous years, reflecting the well known ability of the British Public to ignore weather warnings (they know that they are often just plain wrong!). 

The theme of the fete was ‘Myths and Legends’, and reflected the recent acting career of local resident Geraldine Somerville, who opened the fete and judged the various stall competitions.  The sun shone brightly, the Beaulieu Band played and all stalls did brisk business.  The Fancy Dress parades were fine, and once more we enjoyed the Dog Show, where five different classes were judged.  Great fun!!

The financial results were also good.  All stalls did well, and this year saw the innovation of a ‘Champagne Stall’.  The stall was busy and added a note of nostalgia (mixed with the Strawberries and Cream) on the South Lawn of Palace House.  Huge thanks are due from the committee to the many people who help; at the last count well over a hundred people were involved in some way.

In these fast-moving days, perhaps the Fete should change and become somehow more ‘modern’.  But one member of the public, who had never been to the Fete before, had this to say:-

This fete is so quintessentially English that I expect Miss Marple to appear at any moment!

So perhaps we won’t be making too many changes after all!

Peter Melhuish

Vice Chairman, Beaulieu Village Fete Committee


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