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Actor Martin Clunes star guest at Weldmar Summer Fete
ACTOR Martin Clunes made this year’s Weldmar Summer Fete a special day out.
Thousands of people flocked to catch a glimpse of the star, who spent time chatting to crowds, signing autographs and posing for photos.
The annual fete, which took place at the Joseph Weld Hospice, proved to be ‘bigger and better’ than ever before.
It included bumper stalls, attractions, a free car park, a silent auction and static displays from ‘vehicles of yesteryear’, Goldwings Motorbikes, steam engines and the Wessex Kit car club.
Money raised, which includes the £1 adult entry fee, will go towards the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.
The ‘Doc Martin’ celebrity said: “Thanks for coming to one of the two great days in Dorset countryside entertainments.
“I am sure many of you also came to Buckham Fair, all in aid of Weldmar.
“It gives me enormous pleasure to inform you that Buckham Fair raised a total of £66,000 for Weldmar with all the help of the Dorset people coming along.”
More than 130 volunteers rallied together to put on the event, which was sponsored by The Commercial Law Practice.
Crowds gathered to watch dance performances, live music and displays of parkour and freerunning.
Matt Smith, events fundraiser for Weldmar, said: “This is a fantastic event which we look forward to every year.
“We really have pulled out the stops to make this year bigger and better than ever before.”
He added: “We just want to thank Martin for coming today, it really helps to attract more people to the event and raise even more funds.”
Last year the fete saw more than 2,500 people flock to the annual event.
Due to the celebrity guest running a little late, deputy mayor of Dorchester Andy Canning stepped in to the open the fete.
He said: “Weldmar is doing a fantastic job to help people in our community when they are most vulnerable.
“It is great to see so many turning up in support of a fantastic cause.”
Mr Clunes presented a cheque of £66,000 to Weldmar, raised from the fifth annual Buckham Fair which is held on his land near Beaminster.
The actor was also on hand when Toby McOnnell, along with his friends and family presented a cheque for £10,000 to the cause.
The group walked the length of the Jurassic Coast in memory of Toby’s beloved wife Emma, who passed away last year after bravely fighting breast cancer.
Her loved ones walked in aid of Weldmar Hospice where Emma, aged 37, spent her last days.
Mr McOnnell said: “Emma was at Weldmar for five days and she was looked after really well.
“They do a fantastic job and her treatment was the inspiration for holding this walk in her memory.”
The amount raised from this year’s fete and entry numbers will follow soon.
For more information visit weld-hospice.org.uk
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