SOARING temperatures didn’t stop the crowds from flocking to one of the oldest fetes.

Beginning in 1868, St Cross Fete is still going strong, attracting thousands on the sunny afternoon of Saturday, June 24.

Train rides, games, music, dancing, food and an old-fashioned Punch and Judy show filled the grounds of the Hospital of St Cross.

Community is at the heart of the traditional event with all stall holders being parishioners and no external vendors.

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Murray Dixon, who’s been helping to organise the event for more than a decade, said: “It’s been really busy. We thought people might not come because it’s so hot but they’ve come out in their thousands and have all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“There’s at least a couple of hundred people who are involved in every fete whether that’s putting up tents, running stalls or making cakes and teas.

“We’re always grateful to the trustees of the Hospital of St Cross who allow us to use their fantastic grounds.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Crowds enjoy the show at St Cross FeteCrowds enjoy the show at St Cross Fete (Image: Stuart Martin)

Trish Spiers, who runs the ‘cakes, bakes and makes’ section in the Hundred Men’s Hall, said: “It’s gone very well. It’s so well attended, people keep coming and braving the heat.

“It’s still an old-fashioned country fare that hasn’t been commercialised which keeps the community spirit alive. It’s built up such a reputation that people travel from as far as London each year.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Morris MenWinchester Morris Men (Image: Stuart Martin)

Regular St Cross fete goers Callum and Barbara McArthur brought along their friends Nic and Jane Young, who travelled from Ludlow in Shropshire.

Callum, from St Cross, said: “It’s a lovely setting. We come back year after year for the delicious cakes and the brass music. There’s a sense of timelessness and continuity."

Hampshire Chronicle: From left: Callum McArthur, Jane Young, Barbara McArthur and Nick YoungFrom left: Callum McArthur, Jane Young, Barbara McArthur and Nick Young (Image: Adele Bouchard)

Barbara said: “There’s a wonderful atmosphere and it’s so beautiful here which is what makes it so special. The fete seems to never age.”

Nick added: “It’s a quintessential English fare, it’s absolutely magical here with fun for all the family.”

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Holly McKinnel, 32, from St Cross, was there with her husband and soon to be two-year-old son. She said: “We’ve been a couple of years on the trot. The community and traditional element take you back to another time and there are lots of locals here.

Hampshire Chronicle: Holly McKinnel and her familyHolly McKinnel and her family (Image: Adele Bouchard)

“The little one is definitely intrigued by the music and dancing. The sunny weather has only added to the day.”

This year, money was raised for Winchester Women’s Refuge and the Wildfire Youth Project, a new charity supporting youth workers in schools and churches.

Click on the top image to see more pictures from the day taken by Stuart Martin.