We’d be getting a little edgy about now. As I write this on Thursday afternoon, the rain has just about stopped, but with just a day to go to the planned opening of the 2020 Hambledon Midsummer Festival, things are little damp.
The marquee would have been up by now, no doubt after endless debate about where exactly on the Cricket Green it should be placed. This year the marquee was going to be bigger than ever, in order to accommodate a record attendance at Saturday night’s Ball. We might just have got it to fit.
Tig and Cody would be at the ready to provide overnight “security”.
Thursday evening would have been another evening of rehearsal for the Hambledon Village Shop choir, who had a few new numbers planned for Friday night’s Jazz On The Green. Choir master David Kirby would have have been as patient and calm as ever, with not a sign of the panic within.
Friday would have been a manic day of activity. Setting up and stocking bars with the Merry Harriers team, getting catering in place, installing kids rides, setting up the stage and PA.
Then an evening of great music, food, drink and good company. Bohemian Rhapsody with the Village Shop choir would have been bigger than ever, but probably not better.
Fund raising would have been in full swing. When Jane or Mary ask you if you’d like to buy a ticket for the prize draw, you ask how many.
If Friday would have been manic, Saturday would have been more so. Whatever activities go on over the weekend they all hang off the Village Fete. A traditional event that has taken place for many years. An event at which everyone gets involved and there is something for everyone.
In the morning stall holders arrive and are negotiated into their place by Gareth and SJ, some willingly, others not. Sean goes round with floats for everyone. Ged and his band of helpers start marshalling cars into the Pitt’s field in which George Pitt has devised a mathematical model to optimise parking of the most vehicles.
Then thing’s start happening.
Faces get painted.
Cakes get sold.
Birds get flown.
Kids get raced.
Philip judges dogs.
Then the Village takes a deep breath. Stalls are broken down funds are counted and collected. The Ball starts in a few hours.
Tables need putting up, white linen lain. Toxic Sausage arrive to setup. Cables need moving. Groups start arriving with their food and drink. Party time.
Sunday would be fairly sedate by comparison. The Church would have hosted a service in the marquee on the Cricket Green and a Classic Transport Rally would have set off from the Village Shop and ended up eventually at The Merry Harriers.
Sunday afternoon would have been an afternoon of family friendly theatre in the marquee hosted by the Village Hall committee. A calm end to a frenetic weekend.
What would have been, will we hope, happen in June 2021. Given the circumstances, postponing the festivities for a year is a minor inconvenience. Our best wishes go out to you all and we look forward to many happy Hambledon occasions to come.