The 2020 Barton Stacey fete was like no other. Having begun planning for a WW2 themed extravaganza in January our hopes were dashed by reports of a new virus which was travelling the globe at speed. Over the early months of last year, the impact of this virus would develop at great speed, we retracted into the safety of our homes to protect the NHS and save lives. The actual effort of simply staying safe and well became our greatest challenge and we reduced our bubbles until we were simply one group behind one door.
As we moved through spring into early summer some restrictions were eased enough for us to adapt our fete to fit. Even through our closed doors we had continued our meetings in the hope something would be able come of our planning.
Our fete moved to September to allow us maximum use within the restrictions we had. In the end, after so much planning, guidance reading, permission seeking, risk assessing, social distance planning and sanitising prep we could safely run a Covid-secure fete. The committee and I felt strongly that if ever there was a need for community belonging, this was it! I am unsure, as current chair, whether the fete has ever been moved into September before, but the sun shone, and the day was wonderful.
Moving out of gardens, restricted by boundaries and into Roberts Road meant we were no longer restricted in numbers and our attendance was huge. We were inundated with offers of front lawns, driveways and paths such was he drive by the community to enable our much-loved fete. Walking up and down the road provided an on-looker with an abundance of smiles, laughter and community spirit which was a delight to view.
The job of the fete, beyond community spirit and belonging, is to fundraise for our village church- All Saints. This ancient village hub requires an enormous amount of upkeep to look after it. This year, our fete made almost £4,000 which is an excellent amount towards our beautiful building.
The Barton Stacey community really do hold community spirit at their heart. Stall holders, committee members, visitors; everyone made this day a day to remember amongst the difficulty of the Covid-19 pandemic. A jewel in the dark, as it were!