Time to get your diaries out – because the liveliest day of our summer is almost upon us… Yes, the vibe around the Draycott Summer Fayre (which is now confirmed for Sunday July 10th), is already buzzing!
The big news is surely the return of Y-Ddraig . This fantastic group re-enacts the Viking era, with authentic costumes and encampments. They were massive hits at the 2013 and 2014 fayres, and it was only other commitments that prevented them coming back last year.
The lads and ladies of the group also demonstrate, and teach, bloodcurdling Viking fighting skills – though they have had their come-uppance in previous years when they challenged the village’s children to battle… (!)
As befits the 25th year of the fayre, the rest of the line-up is incredibly strong too.
The organisers have pulled off a real coup to get the Staffordshire Youth Jazz Orchestra, twenty youngsters who really know how to play. They will be in the marquee.
The Joliba African Drums are coming along too, and they do more than just perform. What they do is encourage children to join in by having some quick tuition – and the afternoon finishes off with a performance by and with the children. That will be definitely worth staying for.
With the Dog Show, the Children’s Sports and Tug-of-War tournament also there, it is going to be a busy afternoon in the main ring. (If you think our dog has the makings of a champion, be sure to get to the fayre by 11am to register – the dog show is planned for 11.30).
For younger children, instead of the usual Punch & Judy, there is the Coverdale Puppets experience (from Merseyside). Check out their performances on YouTube, and you’ll agree that fun is the name of their game…
Relax, relax… as well
But the day is not just about ceaseless activity!
Thank goodness for the ‘Saint Margaret’s Bar’ and its cooling beers and ciders (and other drinks). A big thank-you to The Draycott Arms which will be running it this year. Zara Hutson, from the Arms, has promised a proper ‘beer festival’, so if you enjoy a pint, it really will suit you.
The staff of Draycott Moor College has once again showed terrific willingness to join in community activities – they will be running the barbecue. And don’t forget the wonderful Tea Shop run by Christine Wibberley & friends.
And you don’t even have to walk to the fayre! If you live in Tean, Cresswell, Blythe Bridge or Draycott, then jump on the special Fayre bus. POPS, the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society, will be running a vintage bus around the villages all day.
And – all the familiar sights will be on show too… The vintage car and machinery rally, the funfair, the stalls selling everything from ice-cream to plants, the local community groups’ charity stands, the ‘country-crafts experience’ and even the popular family games will all be in evidence.
(If you or your local group wants a stand at the fayre, it is not too late to apply. Just email the Fayre Organiser, and he will help you sort something out – £10 a table.)
Party, party on Saturday
For those that love to dance or just appreciate some live music, well, you will get your chance on the previous evening, ie the Saturday evening (9th July), when the marquee will be put to good use, hosting a band and disco.
The wonderful Jacque Rabbit band (featuring local lad Richard Ward) will be headlining the night; and Peter Wright, who is so well-known to all of us, will be running the disco. Support band are Styx & Stone, who hail from Hilderstone just thre miles away.
It really is a fun summer’s night entertainment – so try to get your tickets early for that event – just email the Fayre Organiser – £4 in advance, £5 on the night.
Please remember that this is a local event, run voluntarily by local people for a local charitable cause (the ongoing, and expensive, maintenance of our 13th century village church, St Margaret’s).
So, thinking of that – do you think you can help, by volunteering?
On the Sunday (and even the Saturday evening) there is always a need. People are required for all sorts of tasks – from the basic, like stewarding on the car-park, right through to ‘shepherding’ the main acts.
If you can spare even a little time, or have some expertise, please email the Fayre Organiser John Clarke. He will be very happy to hear from you!
The fayre is held, as usual, right in the centre of the village, on Uttoxeter Road (ST11 9AE) – with gates open at 11am. The day closes around 5.30pm with a church service in the marquee.
Entry is £5 but children of school-age come in free.
On-site car-parking is free.
This page was last updated on July 8th.
For those who wanted to see the North Staffordshire Pony Club, a bit of unfortunate latest-news: the club have had to pull out of their fascinating ‘Musical Ride’ routine – twelve ponies and their riders that weave patterns to music. Maybe next year…
Fayre volunteers will also want to keep an eye on the special Fayre Facebook page.
It looks like it’s going to be a good ‘un this year!