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October 28, 2009

Metheringham Fayre and Feast 2009

by Dot Howes

A new village cross, "a symbol of community and focus", was unveiled at the Metheringham Fayre and Feast on Saturday 24th October 2009.

Dedicating the Cross
Dedicating the Cross

There has been a cross on the site since before the 14th century and the 2009 one was commissioned to replace the rather ineffectual 1949 version which was used as a stand in after the 1911 cross was damaged during the Second World War. With the recent Village regeneration project came the opportunity to put back a new cross in the style of the 1838 cross.

Although the setting up the stalls on the High Street was hindered by the rain the marching Starlite Twirlers led the parade to the village centre on time. The Venerable Tim Barker, Archdeacon of Lincoln, was escorted by a small group of Scouts and followed by the special guests from Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council and including Mr and Mrs Peter Brown, from the Star and Garter to the cross.

The Starlite Twirlers
Starlite Twirlers

Dr Mike Allen, Chairman of Metheringham Parish Council, welcomed everyone to the village to witness the dedication of Metheringham's new cross and to enjoy the Fayre and Feast. The Archdeacon unveiled the Union Flag from around the Cross and then dedicated it as " a symbol of community and focus for all who live in Metheringham and all who come to visit Metheringham" and led a short prayer of dedication before declaring the Feast open.

The first few hours were marred slightly by rain but the late afternoon and evening brightened up and visitors and locals were able to enjoy the stalls, appreciate the decorations, meet up with friends and family and enjoy the music. The theme of The Musicals brought a lively feel to the stalls and activities along the High Street. This year's competition was judged by Councillor Mrs Marion Brighton OBE.

The winners of the best decorated Business Premises was Karen's Kuts' interpretation of the Phantom of the Opera. The best decorated stall was judged to be Metheringham Football Club's "Oliver" which was serving mulled wine in place of gruel and had plenty of lost boys coming back for more! The judges were especially impressed by the Methodist Chapel's interpretations of the Musicals in flower arrangements, particularly the Carousel but sadly they were not eligible for a prize.

As well as the 62 stalls on the High Street and the 16 craft and display stalls in the village hall there were refreshments and goods available at St Wilfrid's Church, the Methodist Chapel, the village pubs and the other businesses along the street. Several had entered into the occasion with visitors greeted by the Lion from the Wizard of Oz at the Beehive, Mother Christmases at the Star and Garter's White Christmas, the cast of Grease in the Co-Op and the "Wicked" witches at Andrews Butchers' cauldron. Also cruising the streets were the Earthbound Misfits using some very flexible moves to duck the bunting across the street.

The afternoon entertainment began with a display by the Starlite Twirlers, the Metheringham area's original majorettes, who had girls of all ages from babies to seniors displaying their baton and pom pom routines. The Silver Sounds Band based in Dunston had to switch venues to the Village Hall because of the weather but provided the visitors and stallholders there with a much appreciated performance, Ralph Curry and Billy Jay took to the stage with very different singing styles and the MAD singers performed a range of songs from the musicals during their two slots.

Around 7.30p.m. there was a loud cheer as Metheringham's rock band, the Snogs, opened their set to play out the night with cover versions from the 1970s to the present day. As usual the only complaint was with the name. An extensive funfair operated throughout the day thanks to the travelling showmen who come to the Star and Garter field and car park every year.

There had been some trouble with youths fighting on Friday night but thanks to extra police on duty around the area throughout the day the masses of young people who came in from surrounding towns and villages were able to enjoy themselves without any trouble.

Councillor Fred Ambridge the chairman of North Kesteven District Council revealed that Metheringham Parish Council has, after several years of hard work, achieved Quality Council Status. Cllr Ambridge was congratulating the parish council on another splendid Fayre and Feast.

In his response Dr Mike Allen thanked everyone involved including Mike Credland who has been event organiser for most of the event's 21 years and was instrumental in it's revival although there has been an annual feast in the village to celebrate the end of harvest since medieval times.