The crowds weren’t deterred by the showery weather yesterday afternoon for the newly relocated May Fayre back to Market Place after 30 years.
The Mayor, Councillor Julian Brookes, opened the Fayre and then girls from Divas & Dudes Academy, led by Anne Garrison, danced around the Maypole (even through hailstones during their last dance!)
Angie Best then judged the fancy dress competition and the winners were Ethan Procter, aged 7, who goes to Trinity School and Ada Stevens-Sly, aged 6 from Badgemore School who were crowned May King and Queen. Afterwards they were given a ride around Market Place in a rickshaw which was sponsored by Hot Gossip.
There was plenty of entertainment for all the family including traditional stalls – coconut shy, stocks, tombolas, lucky dips, splat the rat, live wire, hook the duck and test your strength. The stalls sweet prizes were kindly donated by Tesco in Henley. For the little ones there were vintage cars to drive and a spin in the teacups. Councillor David Nimmo Smith was up for some wet sponges being thrown at him in the stocks but unfortunately this didn’t materialise!
Local schools, charities and community groups had stalls – 1st Henley Scouts, Henley WI, Air Training Corps, Trinity and Bishopwood Schools, RNLI, Headway Thames Valley and Henley in Transition.
Councillor Will Hamilton and Richard Reed were collecting for the Henley Royal Regatta Fireworks Fund. James Cracknell was delighted to stop off and have his photo to support this.
During the afternoon there was another performance by younger children from Divas and Dudes Academy, children from Springbox Gymnastics, Morris Dancing, local singer Georgia Michel and finishing with a great sing along with Sam Brown and her Ukulele band.
Russell Brand hosted a secret Jacknory storytelling in the King’s Arms Barn – it was a shame that the organisers didn’t allow the Henley Herald in to this.
A tug of war competition saw teams from the Rowbarge pub, Henley Hawks Women and The Argyll pub in a fiercely competitive competition with The Argyll pub winning and the team being awarded with a pint of Brakspear. Neil Ainsworth from The Argyll said, “We are delighted the May Fayre is back in the Market Place.The Argyll tug of war ‘Heavyweights’ made up of regular customers in the pub weighed in at 3/4 of a ton with an average age of 53. The boys gave it everything on the day and are thrilled to have been a part of the event. Lots of beer was consumed to celebrate before and after the win, we look forward to entering a fun competition next year as Henley May Fayre tug of War champions. Thank you to everyone on the day for making it such a great success.”