On alternate years the village of Ashwell in Rutland organises a village fete, organised by a small committee and hosted by Nicholas and Emma Leeming, at their lovely house, Ashwell Grange.
As in previous years the Ashwell Village Fete raised money for several local causes, including the local air ambulance, one of my favourite charities.
Emma got in touch and asked if I would be able to come and photograph the fete for local magazine Rutland Pride. I was very happy to do so!
It was very encouraging to see so many cars in the Leemings’ field when I arrived and by the end of the afternoon it was confirmed that over 700 adults had paid for admission (children were free).
After buying some raffle tickets (I won a haircut which my wife, Charlotte, gratefully accepted) I browsed the various stands on the way up to the house. The book and DVD stall was very popular all afternoon, as were the Pimms and Burger stands opposite. Classic car enthusiasts had lined up a wonderful range of vehicles in front of the house and were only took keen to share their vast knowledge with interested visitors.
We had a moment of contemplation as Cottesmore Huntsman Andrew Osborne MFH reminded us that the day of the fete was the anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, during which the village of Ashwell had lost a large number of young men. He used a hunting horn which was carried by an officer during the battle to officially open the fete, as children and adults made a fuss of a quartet of his hounds.
The band played, the Morris Men danced, the dog show judges judged and hundreds of visitors enjoyed teas, ice cream, punch and judy shows, children’s games and pony carriage rides. A wonderful day and I hope a lot of money was raised!