AS dawn broke on September 25 in Bishop’s Waltham, a team was hard at work setting up the 2021 St Peter’s Country Fayre, now in its fifth year.

Nine months of planning, risk assessing, online marketing and hoping for good weather (not always guaranteed at this time of year) finally paid off.

The strapline for the event ‘bringing our community together’ was the main focus, providing a great day out for local people, as well as raising funds to maintain the fabric of the 900-year-old St Peter’s church.

The fayre was opened by the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Vivian Achwal, who played a trumpet solo at the end of her speech, followed by a vibrant performance by the Swanmore Samba band. Live music during the afternoon was provided by The Soberton Strummers and a beautiful performance by St Peter’s Church choir.

In excess of 1,500 visitors enjoyed over 30 stalls and displays ranging from a dog show, racing pigs, Human Fruit Machine, kids corner, crockery smash, coconut shy and ferret roulette, a grand raffle, a treasure hunt and range of local crafters.

Food and refreshments were provided within the church, by a team of volunteers who had prepared fresh sandwiches and cakes, and a continuous flow of tea and coffee. Outside, a large barbecue provided an array of hot food with stalls selling Bowman ales, Pimm’s and Prosecco. This rural scene was greatly enhanced by scattered straw bales on which to settle and sip a glass or two.

There were classic cars for the connoisseur motorist, ‘Trips up the Tower’ topped off by views from the top of the church tower, providing a 360-degree view of the churchyard and surrounding countryside, and a fantastic display of modern dancing and a Maypole dance by Roynon Dance.

It truly was a great day, say the organisers. The culmination of a lot of hard work, which was only achieved by the combined efforts of the local community, sponsors, raffle prize donors, friends, and neighbours which all combined to raise more than £8,500 was raised for the church fund.