St Luke’s Summer Fair – 2 July 2011


Note: Rollover the pictures for captions.

It seems that the fundraising committee at St Luke’s, Maidenhead yet again chose the right day for this year’s summer fair, as the annual event unfolded under beautiful sunshine in the vicarage garden between 11:00am and 3:00pm today.

GREAT DAY_The event unfolded on the lawn of the vicarage.

Jake and I arrived at 9:45am to begin setting up the sound system, with just enough time to lay out the cable for the loudspeakers before the garden became to crowded with stall-holders.

BOXES OF TRICKS_The many speakers, microphones, cables, and laptops.

We’d managed to rustle up just enough XLR lead to have a wired microphone out at the front like previous years, but in reality most of the trolley-pushing early revellers had already made their way onto the drive by 10:59am. Without the heart to ask them to go back, the opening of the fair happened at the side of the garden, with Lily (Sally‘s spaniel) making the inaugural footprint on the other side of the cord.

I DECLARE THIS FAIR OPEN_Lily running over the cord with new vicar Sally Lynch.

There was, as usual, a great range of things on offer: from a community support stall and the bottle-tombola, to the plant and bric-a-brac stands, it all seemed to keep the crowds entertained.

DON'T DRINK IT ALL AT ONCE_The bottle tombola.

KING AND QUEEN BBQ_Carole and Kevin Baughan put the first bits of meat on the barbecue.

BUY THIS BRIC-A-BRAC_Punters take a closer look at what's on offer.

THE PLANT STALL_You're supposed to be selling, Gill, not talking!

The PA system worked flawlessly with just one exception (which wasn’t our fault anyway). Just before the brilliant Monica Larose dance presentation, we’d been given a cue-sheet with the names and track numbers of each of the backing songs that the dancers were using. However, the running order had regularly changed, so the girls in the ‘arena’ were not the girls who were meant to be dancing to the second song we played. Ms Larose was quick, however, to smoothly get the right group on, and they started again.

WATCHING FROM THE SIDE-LINES_Younger dance school students watch as their older friends perform a routine in front of the crowd.

SHAKE THOSE HIPS_A couple of younger dancers show off their moves.

When hunger struck, there were fairy-cakes for sale from the tea gazebo, burgers available from the Baughans’ barbecue, and ploughman’s lunches on offer from Fran Hornby.

TRY ONE OF THESE_Lin Luff and Marion Brooke offer cakes under the tea gazebo.

LICENSED TO GRILL_Kevin Baughan, dressed somewhat less formally than during my work experience week, cooks the meat on the barbecue.

A PLOUGHMAN'S LUNCH_Bread and cheese on offer from Fran Harnby and Jenny Bartholomew.

Face-painting proved even more popular than last year, and many of the fun-loving people of St Luke’s paid to be canvases for the artistic skills of Ruth Baughan and Serena Tajima. This included Sally, who went for a star design, and Rachel Beaumont who had flowers painted on her face.

STAR OF THE EVENT_New St Luke's vicar Sally Lynch volunteered to have a star painted on her face.

FLOWER POWER_Serena Tajima puts the finishing touches to her design on Rachel Beaumont's face.

One lady who didn’t need her face painting was bearing the bruises from a fall in the town centre earlier this week. Remarkably cheerful, she quipped, “I think they should put me in a gazebo and form a line of the paying public to see my face!”

BEARING THE BRUISES_A helper at the fair, who fell in the town centre earlier this week, selling jam.

I was really pleased that my friend Phil Bray came for a short “flying visit”. I first spied him whilst walking around with my radio microphone, speaking briefly to sellers and punters alike, as he reports in his blog:

“During the afternoon we had a brief trip around the corner to St Luke’s Church where their summer fair was in full swing in the vicarage garden.  We were only there for a short time, but it was good to see Andrew Burdett again, striding around with microphone in hand, providing a constant stream of commentary in his own inimitable style.”

— Phil Bray, blog post, 3 July 2011

CHIC TO BE GEEK_Jake Smith and me operating the sound-system.

The afternoon was finished by enjoying a pancake, with multiple fillings, prepared by Jennie Bartholomew.

DELICIOUS PANCAKES_Jennie Bartholomew cooks up a storm.

VIDEO_The video of today’s fete.


This year’s fair made £1,482.97 in total, traditionally taking into account the £237 raised on the plant sale in May. Proceeds from the plant sale were, in fact, up massively on last year, and whilst the takings on the day were less (2010: £1,456.02 vs 2011: £1,245.97), overall there was just £58.05 in it.

However, although primarily an opportunity to get money, it’s the ‘fun’ that goes into ‘fundraising’ that’s important. I can say without hesitation that everybody at the fair today enjoyed themselves, whilst helping raise an astonishing figure for the church accounts.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.